Challenge Yourself with this Total Body TRX Workout

Challenge Yourself with this Total Body TRX Workout


Whether you’re new to the gym scene or a seasoned vet, you’ve likely seen the TRX hanging around the gym and wondered, “What in the world is that thing?” or “I know what it is, but can I really get a great workout with it?” You’re in luck, because this blog answers both questions.

The TRX Suspension Trainer was created by Navy SEAL squadron commander Randy Hetrick while on deployment. Using a jiu jitsu belt and parachute webbing, he created a way to get a total body workout using minimal equipment that would be easy to move around and travel with.

Suspension trainer exercises are even better than bodyweight exercises because they support a variety of back exercises that are difficult to do without equipment. And it adds an element of instability that challenges every muscle—especially the core. Even better: Most exercises on the TRX are easily modifiable for all levels of fitness.

Now that you know what it is and why it’s awesome, go ahead and give it a try! The total body workout below will get you started. For the Overhead Raise, One Leg Wide Row, Fly, Curl, Modified French Press, and Side Bend, you can modify it and make things a little easier by moving your feet farther away from the wall or TRX anchor. To make these exercises more challenging, move your feet closer. For all exercises, remember to keep your core engaged to help maintain good form.

After you complete this workout, you’ll have a new piece of equipment and eight new exercises in your fitness arsenal, not to mention you can show off your skills when the next newbie drops in. Spread the TRX love!

Total Body TRX Workout

Reps: 15 | Circuits: 3 | Rest: 60 seconds between circuits


Download This Workout

Foot Up Split Squat

One Foot Split Squat

1 – Stand upright with one foot looped in the handle and your arms by your sides.

2 – Drop your body down toward the floor, bending at your hips and knees and leaning your torso slightly forward.

3 – Push off your front foot to return to the start position.

  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Push-Up

TRX Push-up

1 – Place your hands on floor in front of you and your feet in the handles behind you, with your elbows bent and your chest nearly touching the floor.

2 – Push up until your arms are straight, keeping your hips in line with your shoulders.

• Lower back to where your chest nearly touches the floor and repeat.

Overhead Raise

TRX Overhead Raise

1 – Lean back holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your feet flat, and your palms facing down.

2 – Pull the handles overhead with your arms straight and hands close together.

One Leg Wide Row

TRX One leg row

1 – Stand on one leg and lean back, holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your foot flat, and your palms facing down.

2 – Pull your chest up to the handles, bending your elbows.

• Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Fly

TRX Fly

1 – Lean your body forward with your hands in the handles, arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height, and your legs straight out on your toes.

2 – Pull the handles together in front until they meet over your chest.

• Keep your arms straight throughout.

Curl

TRX Curl

1 – Lean back holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your feet flat, and your palms facing up.

2 – Pull your body up to the handles, bending your elbows and curling your hands toward your shoulders.

Modified French Press

Modified TRX French Press

1 – Lean to one side holding the handles overhead with your arms straight.

2 – Arch your torso over to one side and reach your arms to this side.

3 – Pull your body back up to the start position.

  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Side Bend

TRX Side Bend

1 – Lean to one side holding the handles overhead, with your arms straight.

2 – Arch your torso over to one side and reach your arms to this side.

3 – Pull your body back up to the start position.


Download This Workout

Tips You’ll Need for a TRX Workout

  • Make sure to change the length of TRX straps to best fit your intended movements.
  • The farther away you stand, the easier the movement will be. However, the closer you move underneath the straps, the harder you’ll have to work!
  • Try a pushup or a chest fly and work your core like crazy. TRX workouts are no joke!

Find more workouts like this in the Anytime Fitness App.

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Everything You Need to Know to Get Rolling

Everything You Need to Know to Get Rolling


What Is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myofascial_release) release technique used to alleviate muscle pain and increase blood flow. It uses body weight to generate direct pressure to the “knots” or trigger points in the body. Often thought of as an “athlete’s only” piece of equipment, the foam roller is a great tool for anyone needing to release muscle tension (and we ALL have a bit of muscle tension from sitting too long, exercise, or general tension). Imagine using a rolling pin to roll out lumps in bread dough and you’ll get the picture.

What Are The Benefits?

Rolling is beneficial before and after your workout. Foam rolling prior to a workout can help decrease muscle density and allow for a better warm-up. Rolling after a workout can aid in recovery from a strenuous exercise. Other benefits of self-myofascial release include:

  • Improvement in joint range of motion
  • Ease of muscle soreness and joint stress
  • Help in maintaining functional muscular length

The Product

The roller is a foam cylinder and it comes in a variety of sizes. Most commonly in the gym setting, you’ll see a longer roller, measuring 36 inches with a 6-inch diameter. The density of the foam can vary as well. If you’re new to foam rolling or have particularly tight muscles or trigger points, opt for a softer foam roll. Typically, white rollers are softer, while blue or black rollers tend to be firmer.

Key Points for Foam Rolling

Rolling can be effective for many muscles, including calves, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, latissimus dorsi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latissimusdorsimuscle), and the thoracic spine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_spine). Place the foam roller under each muscle group and roll, long strokes, for 60 seconds until a tender area is found. Once a knot is found, maintain pressure on the knot or trigger point for 30 to 60 seconds by moving back and forth over that surface area. Follow up by performing a stretch for each muscle group you just have rolled for maximal benefit.

Tips for Foam Rolling

  • Sometimes, it hurts so good! Foam rolling may be a little uncomfortable and that’s ok. Stick with it!
  • Spend at least one minute per area when you foam roll to make sure you’re making an impact.
  • Find a friend to hold you accountable to foam rolling after a workout. Think of it as your new cool down!

Easy Foam Roller Routine

Try these simple foam roller exercises and stretches to target areas where most everyone could use a little love: the upper back, glutes, and thighs.

Foam Roller: Thoracic Spine (Upper Back)

  • Begin with the foam roller underneath your shoulder blades.
  • Place the hands behind the head for support, or cross the arms over the chest.
  • Lift the hips up slightly off the ground, maintain a slight curve in the low back (almost like you are performing a small crunch).
  • Use your feet to push forwards and backwards to roll out the upper back, rolling from the shoulder blades to the mid-back.

Stretch: Quadruped Cat/Cow

  • Begin on hands and knees with back in a neutral position.
  • Inhale and lift the chin and tailbone towards the sky, creating an arch in the back.
  • Exhale and tuck the chin and tailbone towards the ground, rounding out the spine.

Foam Roller: Glutes

    • Begin by sitting on the foam roller, knees bent and feet on the ground.

Shift slightly to the right and begin to roll up and down the length of the glute. Switch sides.

Stretch: Supine Knees To Chest

  • Lie on your back and draw both knees into the chest.
  • Keep head and shoulders grounded to the floor

Foam Roller: Quadriceps

  • Begin with the foam roller underneath the quadriceps (fronts of the thighs).
  • Lift the legs slightly off the ground and place the weight of the upper body on the forearms.
  • Push with your arms to roll out the quadriceps by moving forward and backwards from pelvic bone to the knee.

Stretch: Standing Quadriceps Stretch

  • Stand on the left leg and bring the right foot towards the glutes.
  • With the right hand, grab onto the right foot, keeping the knee pointed towards the ground and legs close together.
  • Switch sides.





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How To Master The Kettlebell Swing—And Amplify It

How To Master The Kettlebell Swing—And Amplify It


Swinging a kettlebell is a foundational exercise that actually dates back to ancient Greece. In fact, there’s a 143-pound kettlebell on display in the Museum of Olympia in Athens! In the 1700s, kettlebells emerged in Russia as a weighing tool for grains and goods. But as curious humans do, they decided to pick them up and start throwing them around for entertainment and exercise!

Why Kettlebell Training?

Unlike a dumbbell, a kettlebell’s center of mass extends beyond the hand. Kettlebells can be swung, thrown, juggled, pressed, held, moved, and manipulated in so many ways. They are small and portable and can be incorporated into all aspects of athletic and fitness training, making them a really valuable piece of equipment. Ultimately, kettlebells are a highly efficient tool to lose weight, increase your cardiovascular fitness and strength, and maintain joint health, mobility, and flexibility. Score!

Getting Started with Kettlebell Swings

I teach my clients the Russian swing first because it’s safe and effective for most people. In a well-performed swing, hips come to full extension at the same time the upper arms come away from the rib cage. If you swing correctly, there’s no need to go up overhead. Here’s how you work the swing from the ground up. Remember, the power of your swing is driven from your hips!

kettlebell swing

  1. Stand about armpit-width, placing your thumbs tip to tip, making “moose horns” between your knees.
  2. Work your hip hinge by placing your hands at the hip flexor crease, and fold, pushing your hips back, making a “hand sandwich.”
  3. When you’re ready, place the kettlebell 10-12 inches out in front of you.
  4. Tip the kettlebell slightly back.
  5. Hike those hips! Your wrists should stay high on your inner thighs. At the top of the swing:
  • Hips & knees fully extended
  • Elbows soft
  • Bottom of kettlebell points forward

Remember, it’s all in your hips. On a tension scale of 1 to 10, you should be at a 9 at the top of the swing and relaxed to a 1 at the bottom. If you think you’re still lifting with your arms, use “t-rex” arms. Keep your elbows tucked in; you’ll have no choice but to use your hips.

Note: Don’t crank on your back! The kettlebell needs to stay high up in the hips. If you think you’re going too low, place a med ball under you and stay clear of hitting it. Here’s how it all comes together.

Two-Handed Swing in Action


How to Amplify Your Swing

Once you’ve mastered the two-handed swing, try the next progression—the single arm swing! Loading the body unilaterally increases the body’s ability to fire its core in a really interesting way. Think of how often we carry things on one side of the body (groceries, a child, etc.), and our core is challenged to keep us balanced and upright. It’s the same with this single arm swing.

Single Arm Kettlebell Swing

one-arm kettlebell swing

  1. Set up the same.
  • Start with the kettlebell 10-12 inches out in front of you.
  • Keep the non-working arm extended back.
  • Hike!
  1. Grip options: point your thumb forward or backward (thumbs down is used in the below video). Whatever thumb position you choose, it will remain that way on the upswing. This creates more rotation in the shoulder. You can come out of rotation, which happens naturally on the upswing.
  2. Your elbow and forearm will remain in contact with your pelvis during the hike back.
  3. The non-working arm travels with the body, just like it would if you jumped or ran. (You gain 20-30% more hip extension when your non-working arm travels with you.)
  4. Don’t get wild with your form! Retract your shoulder and square up. Don’t let the weight pull you forward into a compromising position.

One-Arm Swing in Action

Helpful Tips for Using Kettlebells

  • Kettlebells are a sneaky form of cardio! Add 10 swings into each circuit of your workout.
  • The swing and deadlift are the best movements to learn first.
  • The more you use kettlebells, the more natural the movements will feel.

Try this kettlebell workout for more swinging action!

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the Key to a Fun and Challenging Workout

the Key to a Fun and Challenging Workout


Grab a partner and a medicine ball! That’s all you need for this simple, effective core workout.

Medicine balls come in a variety of weights and are lifted, thrown, and caught in a variety of ways for exercise. For this workout, it’s best if you pair up with someone of similar strength. You’ll want to grab a weight that allows to you both to complete 3 sets of 15 reps per exercise and keep proper form. If the weight is too easy, increase it slightly. If it’s too hard, slightly decrease it.

Note: Some of these exercises include movements and twisting that can be dangerous for those with lower back issues. Consult with a physician or personal trainer before doing this workout, if at all concerned.

Medicine Ball Partner Workout

Reps: 15

Sets: 3 Per Exercise

Load: Challenging Weight

Rest: 60 Seconds Between Sets

Estimated Total Time: 55 min


Sit-Ups

Medicine Ball Sit-Up


Russian Twists

Medicine Ball Russian Twist


Standing Torso Twists

Medicine Ball Standing Torso Twist


Chest Passes

Medicine Ball Chest Pass


Side Throws

Medicine Ball Side Throw


Over Unders

Medicine Ball Over-Under


Hi-Lo Passes

Medicine Ball Hi-Lo Pass


Sit-Up Tosses

Medicine Ball Sit-Up Pass


Download Stability Ball Workout PDF

Tips For Using Medicine Balls

  • Pick a weight just heavy enough to provide resistance, if you use a ball that is too heavy—you may risk injuring yourself!
  • Add variety to any strength movement by using a medicine ball instead of a kettlebell or dumbbell.
  • Partner workouts and team relays are also perfect for medicine ball use as they are easy to pass and fun to use!
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A Father’s Day Wish Come True

A Father’s Day Wish Come True


Von Hollingsworth and his daughter, Anna, are helping others improve their lives – together

After 30 years as a manager in the electronics field, Von Hollingsworth had become “restless” and he was eager to do something more meaningful the remainder of his working days.  But he wasn’t particularly receptive to the idea when – seemingly out of nowhere – his daughter, Anna, suggested they go into business together by opening a gym.

“My initial response was, ‘You’re nuts. Absolutely no way,’” Von recalls telling Anna. “I said, ‘I’m too close to retirement to take that on at this point in time.’”

Von Hollingsworth and his daughter Anna, at their club in Concord Township, OH

But, in typical Anna fashion, she persisted.

“Next thing I knew my inbox was full of potential franchises,” Von said.  “I started to do a little research on the stuff she sent me. I didn’t give her much feedback because I wasn’t seriously interested at that time.  But the more I read about Anytime Fitness, the more it began to make sense.”

Less than a week before Christmas in 2012, Von and Anna opened an Anytime Fitness gym together in Concord Township, OH.

“At the time, I was only a few years out of college and not financially able to open a gym by myself,” Anna said.  “But I had a pretty good investor in mind, which was my dad.  I had the fitness expertise because I’d been in a gym and knew everything about the equipment and I was a certified personal trainer.  I had that to bring to the table.  And I’d always been a sales personality type.”

Right from the start, their complementary skill sets served the business well.  Von was the “big picture guy” while Anna handled most of the day-to-day operations of the gym.  But they were both motivated by the same thing – and it wasn’t money.

“The most fun that we have – my wife, Anna and I – is when we go out to dinner and talk about [a gym member] who’s lost 70 pounds,” Von said.  “Or we talk about another member who’s off her diabetes medicine.  We talk about the people who come to us and say, ‘You saved my life.’  That’s unbelievable stuff.”

And they’re not content merely helping members while they’re inside the gym.  Anna and Von have become somewhat famous in Concord Township for their various community engagement activities. Over the last four years, the gym’s “24 in 24” Challenge has raised $240,000 and helped make wishes come true for local children battling life-threatening illnesses.

 2018 “24 in 24”

VIDEO

The ‘24 in 24’ has become the heartbeat of our small business and a huge part of our community.”

And that’s just the beginning.  Each of the last five years, Anna and Von have organized a “Miles for Mutts” 5K event, donating a combined $20,000 to their local Lake Humane Society.

The fundraisers are important and impressive.  But it’s inside the gym where the magic happens – where Von and Anna have helped literally thousands of members significantly improve their health and fitness.

“I have a blast,” Von said. “I’m in the gym four hours a day and I just talk to people.  That’s what this is all about.  I’ve cried more working for Anytime Fitness than I ever imagined.  I’ve seen so many people improve their lives.”

“I think my dad’s ability to connect with our members is because they can relate to him and he can relate to them,” Anna said.  “He definitely creates a culture inside these walls of having a good time, smiling and just putting people in a good mood.  I usually just laugh when I see him talking to people because you never know what the heck he’s talking about.”

Regarding advice for others who might be thinking about going into business with a close relative, Anna believes being honest about each other’s skills and limitations is the key to success.

“You figure out who is best for a particular task and then you just kind of have to delegate responsibilities and then respect each other,” Anna said.  “With us, we knew that my dad would handle the finances and he would do our accounting and those types of things.  You also need to put someone who has the skills to run a gym in that manager role.  That’s where I feel comfortable.”

Despite his initial hesitations, Von now describes going into business with his daughter as a perpetual Father’s Day gift – and one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

“It’s ended up being the smartest thing we ever did,” Von said.  “It’s been a joy.  A whole lot of fun.”

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Benefits of Salmon: Superfood Saturday

Benefits of Salmon: Superfood Saturday


The real superhero of the sea is laid out in your grocery store: Protein-packed, stripey cuts of salmon. According to Science Daily, scientists found that fish reduced the risk of cardiac death by 10 percent. And the fatty acids and other nutrients in salmon do more than that: Recent studies have also shown the many benefits of salmon— finding that eating fish once per week may be connected to a lower risk of multiple sclerosis, and a protein in salmon may help lower your risk of Parkinson’s.

It’s not just disease prevention, either; the benefits of salmon are countless. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 113-gram salmon filet delivers 23 grams of protein for just 145 calories. And that isn’t just good for building muscle. Protein digests more slowly than carbohydrates, so you feel fuller for longer, aiding in reaching your weight loss goals.

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So get some more super salmon in your life. Try these four simple recipes from The Leaf to reap the many benefits of salmon :

1. Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups > 

cucumber salmon

This is the kind of appetizer your taste buds and waistline can agree on: Cream cheese and chives complement the flavor of slivers of smoked salmon, while cucumber gives a satisfying crunch with fewer calories than a cracker—and vegetable nutrition as a bonus. In about five minutes of prep, you’ve got a party-worthy app that you don’t have to share—and all for 101 calories.

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2. One-Pan Salmon, Brussels Sprouts and Squash >

smoked salmon

If your kitchen isn’t super-stocked or you just don’t want to make a big ole’ mess, you can still create a hearty, home-cooked meal with just one pan. Simply mix the vegetables with spices on the pan and bake, then add the salmon on top for 12 more minutes in the oven. In less than a half-hour, you’ve got a colorful meal with the flavors and nutrients to satisfy the whole family, all while keeping you on track to your weight loss goals. And if you put some foil on the pan before cooking, clean up is a snap!

3. Salmon Burger with Herb Cream Sauce >

salmon burger

You’re going to love this salmon burger, and the secret is the sauce: The easy-to-prepare salmon patty is delicious on its own, with spices like paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder to kick the flavor up a notch. But topping the burger with a homemade herb cream sauce of cream cheese, yogurt, lemon, dill and parsley takes this sandwich from good to gourmet—it’s as creamy and delicious as the type of sauce they’d add at a fancy fish restaurant, but this burger is nutritionist-approved.

Superfood Saturday: Ready, Set, Mango!

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4. Pistachio-crusted Salmon with Asparagus and Rice >

pistachio salmon

Ready to get really fancy? How about a filet of salmon that’s coated in crushed pistachios—it’s the kind of dish you’d find at a five-star restaurant, but it’s easier than you believe to craft at home. With a mixture of Dijon mustard and lemon juice acting as a delicious, spicy mortar, just press the chopped nuts on top of the fish filet. After 15 to 20 minutes in the oven, you’re ready: It’s nutty, it’s crunchy, it’s smooth, it’s peppery … and with the asparagus and brown rice, it’s just 340 calories for a filling, delicious Flex dinner.





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