An ever increasing problem with kids is WAY too much time sitting! Whether that's watching Netflix, playing with their tablets, or chatting with each other online, there simply isn't enough activity! Gym classes in schools have greatly improved since I was a kid. But it still isn't enough. There are many hours in the week that could be filled with activity. It doesn't need to be strenuous or difficult. It is meant to be quick, challenging, and fun!
The workouts below have been designed for your kids to get back on track and start enjoying fitness once again from the convenience of the home environment. A happy head leads to a happy body, better attention span and overall, happier kids! So let's not waste another second, time to get the mind in gear...
20 MINUTE FULL BODY BLAST!
Perfect for at home or in the garden these 20-minute workouts work the whole body and help burn off the summer excess! It's tough but you need to push them through. Simply perform each exercise for 2 minutes without stopping (1 after the other) and go through it once more. It's great cardio for kids and fun at the same. For example, you can turn it into a game to see how many skips your child will get in two minutes and so on. Of course, if they need rest, take it! But the goal is to go non-stop.
Full body: Burpees
Full body: Skipping
Lower body: Squat jumps
Lower body: 1 Foot Hops
WORK THAT CORE!
Challenge your child to a tough midsection! Get them with this fun core workout! Designed to bring out your upper abs, lower abs, and oblique's and strengthen your stability muscles the core destroyer can be performed anywhere you choose! In a circuit, so one after the other then a 1-minute rest
20 bicycle crunches
40 mountain climbers
30 raised knee crunches
20 Russian twists
12 jack knife sit-ups
This is an advanced form of interval training that can be done purely with body weight to melt body fat and advance fitness! All you need to do is choose anything between 3-6 exercises and perform each one in one minute rounds, during the minute you need to do 20 seconds of higher intensity, or as many reps as possible, and have ten seconds rest and continue to alternate between those two periods until the minute is up before moving onto the next exercise. Try the below routine:
Body weight squats
Your kids will love these workouts from home! Don't be scared to mix them up and see what your kids enjoy. The above routines repeated on a regular basis will soon have your kids back on track and feeling great about themselves. They don't take a lot of time, are very effective, and a lot of fun! And I'll tell you something else. PARENTS CAN DO IT TOO! Remember that the family that trains together stays together!
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A very common misconception about training your core (or any other muscle for that matter) is that you must consciously tense it. This is unfortunately completely wrong! Doing this will prevent you from feeling the muscle properly and can in fact lead to strain and injury! It will also tend to prevent you from breathing properly and promote holding of your breath.
The key is to maintain PROPER BODY STRUCTURE AND BREATHING. By keeping your back flat, your body properly aligned, and breathing properly and deeply through the stomach, everything will be set up for you to benefit from your exercises. The muscles will naturally tense when you use them, but it is NOT something you need to consciously do. By holding your structure correctly, breathing properly, AND maintaining proper concentration and focus, you will be able to exercise properly with optimum benefits.
If you think about it, by not intentionally tensing your muscles, they will naturally produce the correct amount of tension. If you pick up a cup of water, there is tension even if you don't feel it. If you pick up a 100 lb dumbbell, there is also tension. Only much more! However your intent should be the same. That is to lift a weight with proper body structure, alignment, and breathing. It's really as simple as that!
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So what exactly is Metabolic Training? The subject is very vast with many variations. But to sum it up quickly and easily, it's large multi-joint movements (working many joints and muscles in one single movement) combined with limited rest periods. This has a number of benefits. First of all, because you're doing big movements like Squats, Mountain Climbers, Burpees, etc, you're not only taxing your muscular system, but you're also taxing your cardiovascular system. This in turn will have benefits for your lymphatic system and other bodily functions. Second, you're getting an even better workout because you're combining it with short rest periods. Studies have shown that the most work done in the least time will give you the best results. Third, because of all these demands on the body, your body will experience EPOC. This stands for Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. In other words there is an oxygen debt that has been created and it has to be paid back. The end result is that your body remains in fat-burning mode for many hours EVEN AFTER THE WORKOUT IS FINISHED! This is also nicknamed "THE AFTERBURN EFFECT".
In fact, Metabolic Training has been scientifically proven to be more effective for fat loss than steady state aerobics such as treadmills and bicycles. Not that I have anything against those exercises, but they are just not the MOST effective thing for fat loss and certainly not for muscle tone and strength. But with that being said, I generally recommend people to include some form of gentle aerobic exercise such as walking into their daily routine. It helps with additional calorie burning and it's also very relaxing and enjoyable especially when you do it with a friend or loved one.
Now when it comes to the various methods of fat loss, there are several methods which I'll go over below.
1) MODERATE CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE - Exercises such as walking, bicycling, elliptical machines, swimming, etc. The simple rule is that these exercises are easy enough to allow you to talk, but hard enough so you can't sing. There are different recommendations, but generally 150 to 300 minutes per week is what you should aim for. This breaks down to a brisk walk for 20 to 40 minutes a day. It's not as hard as it sounds. If you really look at your day, you may be able to squeeze in more walking. For example I often park my car near the outside perimeter of the parking lot so I have to walk further when I do my shopping. I often walk to school with my daughter in the morning which is 20 minutes right there. If you have a dog, you're set for sure. Personally I practice a form of walking I call QIGONG WALKING.
2) HIIT WORKOUTS This falls under the category of Metabolic Training. This stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It optimizes calorie burn and also brings on the Afterburn that was mentioned earlier allowing you to burn fat even hours after the workout is finished. HIIT can be done with any exercise by alternating intensity. For example, you can sprint for 1 minute and then do a light jog for 2 minutes. Usually it's a 2 to 1 work to rest ratio. You could do squats for 30 seconds and then rest for 15 seconds. Of course this can be altered depending on your fitness level. It works very well with bodyweight exercises like Squats, Burpees, Mountain Climbers, etc. but can also be done with equipment. I often do HIIT with dumbbells. Also, martial arts at a higher intensity such as punching and kicking can be used as HIIT as well. Two to three 20-minute HIIT workouts a week will work wonders! The key is to minimize rest between the exercise maintaining a quick pace.
3) CIRCUIT TRAINING - This can easily tie in with the HIIT workouts. It's very common to arrange HIIT workouts in a circuit to maximize it. For example you could do Squats followed by Pushups followed by Mountain Climbers followed by Jumping Jacks followed by Burpees. You could then rest for a couple of minutes and repeat the circuit 1 or 2 more times. It can also be done either by time or by counting repetitions and can be combined with other techniques as well.
To really sum it up, remember this saying "BIG MOVEMENTS, SMALL RESTS". If you keep this in mind, it will make much more sense to you. Forget about those old myths that tell you to do "Shaping Exercises" or single joint exercises with tiny dumbbells. It may be better than nothing, but it certainly won't give you the type of results you're after and definitely not in the same time period! Metabolic Training is tried and true and the results speak for themselves. Legendary bodybuilder and trainer to the stars VINCE GIRONDA used to train many of his clients using this type of training. He often had very limited periods of time to whip them into shape since the film studios needed the actors for specific roles by specific dates. One routine that he really liked a lot and which I used to good effect as well is the 8 Sets of 8 Reps Method. With this method, you choose one exercise per bodypart and do it for 8 sets of 8 reps with only 30 seconds rest in between. It's an incredible workout for your muscles as well as your cardiovascular system. Truly Metabolic Training at its finest! He also liked Circuit Training and other forms of HIIT and alternating intensity.
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One of the most common causes of shoulder pain, perhaps THE most common, is muscular imbalance. With our lifestyle of spending so much time in front of the keyboard, it's easy to see how people can develop a hunched over posture! In addition, most people when exercising, tend to ignore the muscles of the back and rear shoulder. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND is the expression which comes to mind.
So what can we do about this? We can do some targeted exercises for the rear shoulder, of course! There are three movements here. It's best to do them in a triset manner, one after the other. 3 Trisets (a total of 9 sets) for between 12 and 15 reps should work very nicely. When you're first starting and to get used to it, you may want to use only 2.
So here are the exercises:
1) LYING STRAIGHT ARM FLYE -For this movement, lie on your side and with your arm straight (but not locked), raise it up to the point where it's perpendicular to the ground.
2) LYING L FLYE - With your arm bent in an "L" shape at 90 degrees and your upper arm kept close to your torso, raise it up as high as you can WITHOUT moving your torso
3) ARM WRESTLING FLYE - With your arm on your knee or on a tabletop or chair, perform the Arm Wresting motion by raising the dumbbell up to a point perpendicular to the ground.
Give this program a try and it can significantly decrease shoulder pain!
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The Dragonback exercise is one of the fundamental exercises in the internal martial arts. It also has tremendous health benefits regardless of whether you practice the martial arts or not! It is used to coordinate the body and breathing together, also to develop looseness and suppleness in the back, and finally to generate power!
The key to this movement is to understand the Centreline or Motherline running from the top of your head and through the centre of the body, So rather than leaning your torso forward, you are moving your spine along this immovable Centreline.
By doing this movement you will be practicing one of the key principles of the internal arts, namely Expansion and Compression. By doing this you will in essence be giving your organs an "Internal Massage". Watch the video to learn more!
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I just did this workout this morning and it's a killer! No equipment is needed and it can be done anywhere! For this workout, we're doing two animal crawls. The Bear Crawl and the Ape Crawl. When going in the forward direction, you are primarily exercising the pulling muscles of the upper body. When moving backwards, you are exercising the pushing muscles. It's a very complete combination.
In addition to that, we're adding in Kickouts. This is a somewhat advanced exercise and if it's too difficult, you can just leave it out and do the animal crawls. Either way it's an excellent, challenging, and fun workout!
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Just because it's a holiday, that's no reason to stay inside and not get in a good workout! Today I'm using the TRX to get it done! If you're not familiar with the TRX, it's a form of suspension training. Very similar to gymnastics rings actually. It's easily adjustable and there are some excellent benefits to it.
1) TOTAL BODY MOVEMENT
Studies have found that the most productive exercises are the ones in which your body moves through space. Pushups, Chinups, Squats, Swings, etc. And with the TRX, your body is the resistance and therefore moving through space. And because of this, there is an increased engagement of the core!
2) EASILY ADJUSTABLE
All you have to do is move your feet forward or backward to change the difficulty of the movement! It's as simple as that. All the movements can be adjusted to your fitness level.
A couple of years ago, I traveled to Hawaii for a family vacation. They have a gym at the resort where we were staying, but it was being renovated. It was still open, but I really didn't feel like working out with the sounds of drills and hammers! Luckily, I packed my TRX and I simply attached it to some of the bars at the playground, just like I'm doing in today's video! It worked great!
So if you have never tried TRX training before, give it a shot! There is an almost limitless number of exercise variations you can do with it, but I put together some of my favourites in this video!
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This is the first of several blog posts where I'll discuss some of the biggest lies in fitness including so-called "Common Knowledge". Some of these lies have existed for decades and unfortunately are still widely believed. It's time to put an end to the misinformation and lies once and for all!
LIE #1 - HIGH REPS MAKE YOU MORE DEFINED
Although there is some evidence to suggest that high reps might induce some extra capillary intrusion into a muscle, they'll do nothing to make a muscle harder or more defined. If a completely sedentary person began lifting weights using either lower reps OR higher reps, he or she would experience a rapid increase in TONUS, the degree of muscular contraction that the muscle maintains even when the muscle is relaxed. This will happen regardless of rep range. The only way that high reps would make a muscle more defined is if, by doing a higher number of reps, your body as a whole was in a negative energy balance, and you were burning more calories than you were ingesting. The truth is that lower reps will build rock hard muscles. You just have to get the fat off them to see it! Obviously there's nothing wrong with higher reps and certainly for endurance and stamina, it's very useful. But you will not get more defined simply by adding 5 to 10 more reps!
LIE #2 - YOU CAN USE "SHAPING" EXERCISES TO RESHAPE YOUR MUSCLES
You can't limit growth to one area of a muscle! If you recall, the first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, had tremendous biceps. Thick and full, BUT they didn't have much of a peak. The shape of your biceps (or any other muscle) is determined by your genetic makeup. When you train a muscle, the "All Or Nothing Principle" applies. Each muscle fiber recruited to do a lift (along the entire length of the muscle) is contracted fully. Why would a certain number of them, such as the middle of your biceps, grow differently than others? If anything the muscle cells closer to the insertion points are subject to greater stress. You don't see them increasing at a faster rate than the rest of the muscle, do you? If they did, everyone would have proportions like Popeye The Sailor Man! What often happens is that people will train a previously neglected muscle such as the side and rear deltoid heads and because the shoulder muscles are now more balanced AND proportioned, people think they have "reshaped" their muscles!
LIE #3 - WEIGHT TRAINING MAKES YOU BIG, AEROBICS MAKES YOU DEFINED
Manipulations i n your nutrient intake are the main factor in getting defined. If your daily caloric expenditure exceeds your daily intake on a consistent basis, you will lose fat. Aerobic exercise is meant to improve cardiovascular efficiency, but if you do it long enough, you will burn calories and in the long run, lose fat. However, weight training can also do this. And if it's done in a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) manner, it's even better. In fact, studies have shown that HIIT can burn fat up to 3 times faster than steady state cardio exercise. And there's also the Afterburn (EPOC) effect which puts you in fat burning mode even up to 36 hours after the workout is done! In addition to this, the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more fat you'll burn just sitting there. So don't worry! It's impossible for you to accidentally turn yourself into The Hulk or the She-Hulk!
In Martial Arts Fitness, Part 1 we discussed exercises where the energy is contained. Now we're going to talk about exercises in which the energy is released. It's important to understand the role of both.
When we contain the energy, we are storing it. This also means that the internal organs are benefiting along with the physical structures like your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It's also tied in very closely to the Yin and Yang and balance. When you build energy, it must also be released! Watch the video to learn more and for more information about In-Home or Online Personal Training, Click Below!
In martial arts there are two major categories of exercises. One is where energy is released such as punches and kicks. This is the one which most people associate with martial arts Whether you're punching a heavy bag or the air as in shadowboxing, you are releasing energy!
The second one is when the energy is contained. Exercises such as pushups, squats, and core exercises where the structures of the body, alignment, and internal organs are trainer. It is this type that we're focusing on for today's video. For a quick summary of the exercises here they are:
1) Squats with Front Kicks
3) Renegade Rows with Elbow Strikes
4) Tabletop Thrusters
Watch the video to learn more!
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