Friday, July 6, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Plank Punches

Ah yes, planks. Love them or hate them, they do wonders for your core and are great for shoulder stability. 

Of the many variations of the planks that are out there, the one I'm loving right now is the plank punch. This exercise is going to work your shoulders, arms, glutes, and, of course, your entire core. Take your time with this one; it's extremely important your nail the form perfectly before you start trying to speed through it!

1-Begin in High Plank position. Your shoulders, elbows, and wrists are in line with one another, and your back is flat, creating a flat line from the top of your head to your heels. Really engage your core and your glutes.

2-Raise your right arm and punch your right hand forward, punching out from your forehead. Keep your core as still as possible, resisting any tipping to the left or right that may occur from throwing off your balance.

3-Lower your right arm down back into its starting position, shoulder, elbow and wrist aligned, and immediately raise your left arm, punching it forward, even with your forehead.

4-Repeat the alternating punches, resisting any tipping movement in your core, for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Healthy Snack of the Day: Avacado and Greek Yogurt Dip

July 4th! The day of Bar-B-Qs and side dishes galore, which usually means veggie platters and chips. With these sides also comes the heavy and creamy dips. Try a healthier option by making your own dip from fresh ingredients and using Greek yogurt. You can easily play around with the recipe to make it your own and work with all people's tastes. The recipe I have here comes from Two Peas and their Pod

It includes jalapeno pepper and cumin to spice it up a bit, but again, play around with your own approach and then serve it with pita chips or some veggies to keep your sides at the holiday get together not only delicious, but healthy too!

1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place the yogurt, avocados, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and cumin in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2. Scrape dip into a serving bowl and serve!


Exercise of the Day: Floor Switch Kicks

Fans of the Insanity Workout with Shaun T will be familiar with floor switch kicks. This exercise is amazing for working your triceps, back, and your abdominals, as well as a cardio blast because it is quite demanding!

Don't worry if you cannot do this exercise very quickly at first. You can build up your strength to a fast kicking movement. It is better to do the exercise slowly and with control than to risk form!!!

switch kick

1-Sit on the ground, your knees bent in front of you, your feet flat on the ground with your ankles directly under your knees. Place your palms directly in line with your elbows and shoulders, your fingers pointing towards your feet.

2-Push into your palms and feet and raise your hips off of the ground. Be sure to keep knee and ankle alignment and wrist, elbow, and shoulder alignment. Keep your chest raise to avoid rounding your back.

3-Engage your lower abs and kick your right leg as straight up in the air as you can.

4-As you lower your right leg back to the ground, kick your left leg as straight up as possible (this is a fast movement. If you cannot do this quick switch in the legs it is completely okay. Simply lower your right leg to the ground and as soon as it touches, then kick your left leg. You can build up to fast kicking movement!)

Repeat this alternating kick movement for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Healthy Tip of the Day: Estimate Your Heart Rate Max and Target Heart Rates

So often I have clients ask what their maximum heart rate should be. There are multiple ways to calculate this, but sometimes they just want an easy answer, right then and there, for a general idea.

Here's a quick way to check yourself:

Subtract your age from 220. This is about the maximum amount of heart beats per minute your heart can handle during exercise.

When you are participating in low-intensity exercises, you want your heart rate to be about 50 to 60 percent of your heart rate max. So, take the result of 220-your age and multiply it by .50 or .60 for this target heart rate.

For moderate exercise, you want your heart rate between 60 and 80 percent: 220-your age multiplied by .60 or .80.

For high intensity workouts, your target heart rate is 90 percent of your heart rate max. So, 220-your age multiplied by .90.

It is especially important to be aware of your heart rate during bouts of exercise during this extremely hot summer that we are experiencing. And, as always, HYDRATE!!!!!!!!


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