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Posts tagged "Strength"

Bang For Your Fitness Buck! Zuzka Light ZCUT DVD’s

Just finished my ZCut workout and drenched yo! Jeebus, I love Zuz! Been addicted to her ZGym for months now, and shocked by how strong I’ve gotten in a year.

Consistently tough, great value, short and intense workouts and easy to follow or do on their own. Best for intermediates/advanced, but beginners can start with her YouTube channel ZWOW’s for free.

ZCUT Power Strength Series

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Wold you be shocked?

Toning, tightening, lengthening, shaping, cinching, leaning, sculpting, chiseling etc. = marketing words. For the most part when you hear them, they ALL mean gaining muscle and losing fat. All of them. (in other cases, they are just lies, lol). We also prefer the term “lean muscle” to plain old “muscle”, but the term lean isn’t necessary. That’s a marketing thing too. (add “sexy” and bam! People love “sexy” lean muscle).

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Plank Row And Kickback

This is a great move for beginners and intermediates! It’ll challenge your back, shoulders, core and glutes. Go as heavy as you can while keeping good form.

How To Do It

A. Come to a table top position, with dumbbells in each hand. Keep back flat and hands under your shoulders.

B. Keeping your hips facing the floor, row one dumbbell up past your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Bring elbow up past your back. Simultaneously, extend your opposite leg out to the back of you in a donkey kick. Squeeze the glutes as you kick, and think about the contraction instead of height (don’t over extend your back).

C. Hold for a beat and repeat on the same side or switching sides.

Advanced? Try this in full plank, simply lifting the back leg up.

Challenge! 3 x 1 minute intervals in your workout. As many as you can in one minute (30 seconds per side), recover and repeat.

Try Something NEW! Buti Fitness FULL Class (47 minutes)

My new “best thing EVER”, lol. BUTI!

I’ve been secretly DYING to try a Buti class, but haven’t been able to (there are simply none here). Bizzie Gold has uploaded a few full BUTI classes online and I have to say, they’re INCREDIBLE. Right up my alley!

The class is like a fitness remix: yoga fused with dance, plyometrics, conditioning, booty shaking and set to a pretty hype soundtrack. Imagine yoga poses where you’re shaking your booty ALL THE TIME, jumping and moving fast to the beat.

It’s NOT for everyone, but if you like the class too… we would probably have a lot of fun hanging out. :)

"BUTI is a high-intensity workout that fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometrics and conditioning. Classes range from 60-90 minutes and consist of deep stretching, BUTI shaking and heart-pounding cardio. BUTI dance moves are taken from various styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips (and BUTI) including Miami Booty Dance, Brazilain Baile Funk, Hip Hop, Crunk and African Tribal."

Read more about BUTI here.

Get it. :)

Get it. :)

Power Up! Sandbag Circuit

I promise, this is FUN & you’ll like it! This workout gets a lot tougher as you go, but hang in there. Try to keep breaks to a minimum and time yourself so you have a score to beat (each time you do it, try to beat your old time! Start wherever you are).

Equipment: sandbag or dumbbells (optional), a jump rope (optional) and a timer.

No sandbag' modifications are given below. Click here for more sandbag info if you're interested or confused! :)
Ultimate Sandbag Website (All Models)

Circuit (repeat 5 times)

  • 2 minutes of jumping rope (pretend if you don’t have one, or swap in jacks, high knees, a jog in place or an actual run if you’re outside or have a treadmill)
  • 10 Bag Drag Pushups
  • 20 Single Leg Goodmornings

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

A. Bag Drag Pushups (10 alternating)

NO SANDBAG Version: use a pillow/towel and place dumbbell on top of it. When sliding dumbbell over, grasp it around the handle, and press it into the floor (don’t lift it). The towel/pillow will help it glide, but if you lift the dumbbell it will fall off midway. Press it gently into the floor and really engage your core throughout the drag.

This move is CRAZY for your core & back. Use as much power as you can to drag the sandbag or go heavy with your dumbbells. Beginners can do regular or modified pushups instead.

A. Come into pushup position, from the toes or knees. Place sandbag or weight on your right side, next to and in line with your hand. Keep hands in line with your shoulders and eyes forward.

B. Do one pushup.

C. With your left hand reach over to the right & grasp the bag or dumbbell. Pull hard and drag it to the other side: don’t be afraid to use power. Try not to sway and keep your hips facing the floor and butt down. Engage your core.

D. Adjust the bag/dumbbell if needed and repeat with the pushup. Switch sides each rep.

B. Single Leg Good Mornings (10 per side)

NO SANDBAG Version: You can use anything weighted behind the back (schoolbag, barbell, plate), try this with NO weights with hands behind the head, or bring the weights in front and perform a single leg deadlift instead.

(At home tip: I used to add instability to my broomstick by placing two small weights in plastic bags and attaching them to the ends of it. They would swing a little, which made the stick MUCH harder to control, even with small weights.

This move is AWESOME for your hamstrings! Magic. Lengthens, strengthens and stretches them really nicely. It works all the stabilizers in your legs and really helps with balance. :)
A. Stand with your legs slightly apart and hold a broomstick or sandbag across your upper back and shoulders. Palms should face forward (overhand grip) if possible.
B. Transfer your weight to one foot and lift your back foot off the floor. Bend the standing leg slightly at the knee for balance.
C. Maintain your balance on your standing foot and, keeping your back straight, bend your torso forward. HINGE AT THE HIPS. Try to keep them facing the floor.
D. Contract your hamstrings and booty to return to the standing position, then swing your knee forward keeping yourself standing tall. Hold the knee up at hip level for 1-2 beats, then repeat from the beginning.
Tap down for balance at any time, but try to keep the foot lifted to add difficulty. Find a spot on the floor 6ft in front of you to focus on: this will help tremendously. Use your hips, glutes and hamstrings to do the lift to standing: NOT your back, and fight to keep hips facing the floor. Contract your core to support your back and help with balance throughout the move. :)
Good luck with this one! Kill it!

It took me years to work up to inverted pushups: it took lots of practice & time. (just a few years ago I struggled with ones from my knees)

You begin where you are: don’t be intimidated. Practice makes perfect and it takes time to develop strength. You do what you can. You do a little more each time. And you celebrate any progress along the way. :)

Start here if you’re struggling with pushups or need ideas on how to modify them: Working Your Way To Perfect Pushups

Did you get your workout in?

Boosted my weights and set a new time for “Body Burn Out!” (4 rounds in 17:25). The rear flys are CRAZY with 15lb dumbbells: the last round was MURDER.

Forgot how much I LOVED this workout!  It’s high intensity, total body and a sweat fest of epic proportions. I did the high intensity version, but there are modifications if you’re a beginner and/or have no equipment (AND ways to make it dorm room friendly! No jumping!). It’s also quick ‘n’ dirty - you totally can make time for this today, I promise. :)

Try it out and post your times! Beat your own score next time around. If you’ve already done it, try it with heavier weights and set a new time. It’s harder, but SUCH a good workout. xo

“Body Burn Out!” 16 Minute Strength & Power Circuit (With Dumbbells)

Skull Crusher Squats
Works: triceps, back & glutes

How To Do It


A. Grab 1 heavy or 2 light dumbbells in your hands, and hold them behind your head. Elbows out to the side, chest open. Avoid straining your neck forward. Keep good posture and relax the shoulders.
B. Lower down into a squat, fighting to keep your chest facing forward. Sink as low as you can with the weight in the heels of your feet. Arms relaxed.
C. Raise up from the squat and press the dumbbell(s) overhead, extending through the triceps. Press them UP and not forward.
D. Lower your arms back to starting position and repeat with the squat.
Modifications: You don’t need dumbbells if you don’t have them: a water bottle or anything small & weighty will do. Reduce the range of motion to make this easier (don’t squat as low) and focus on using your triceps and core to protect your back.


See more: “Body Burn Out!” 16 Minute Strength & Power Circuit (With Dumbbells)

Skull Crusher Squats

Works: triceps, back & glutes

How To Do It

A. Grab 1 heavy or 2 light dumbbells in your hands, and hold them behind your head. Elbows out to the side, chest open. Avoid straining your neck forward. Keep good posture and relax the shoulders.

B. Lower down into a squat, fighting to keep your chest facing forward. Sink as low as you can with the weight in the heels of your feet. Arms relaxed.

C. Raise up from the squat and press the dumbbell(s) overhead, extending through the triceps. Press them UP and not forward.

D. Lower your arms back to starting position and repeat with the squat.

Modifications: You don’t need dumbbells if you don’t have them: a water bottle or anything small & weighty will do. Reduce the range of motion to make this easier (don’t squat as low) and focus on using your triceps and core to protect your back.


See more: “Body Burn Out!” 16 Minute Strength & Power Circuit (With Dumbbells)

Lawn Mower Pull & Press

Find a weight that’s challenging, but where you can keep up a decent pace. You can also do this with no additional weight.

*I’m using ONE 15lb dumbbell, but if you’d like, you can use a dumbbell in each hand (two). This is a better option if all you have is light weights at home.

How To Do It

A. Stand with feet wide, toes pointed out, with one dumbbell up by your shoulder.

B. Rotate into a deep lunge on your opposite side, bringing your hands towards (but not touching) the floor. Press your bodyweight into the heel of your lunging leg, and keep hips neutral.

C. Push through your heel to return to the starting position, pulling the dumbbell up by your shoulder: do this with intention, like you’re pulling on a lawnmower cord. 

D. Twist and rotate your body to the opposite side, pressing the dumbbell overhead. Use your core to stabilize yourself, and come up on your toe to help you twist your hips towards the opposite wall.

E. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch sides.

Tips

Stay light on your feet to make this motion fluid: once you get the rhythm, try to think of it as one movement instead of broken into parts. Staying on the balls of your feet will help you pivot without straining your knees or hips.

Pay attention to your hips & core: hips should move with your body and core tight throughout.

Pendulums

FAB exercise to strengthen the outer hips & glutes (which will help your squats, lunges and deadlifts too). This is a move I often do as active “recovery” during H.I.I.T: it keeps my body moving while my heart rate comes down, before I bring it back up again.

(WARNING: this image has been digitally altered… to hide the tiny hole in my pants that I didn’t notice at the time. It happens. I don’t mind telling you about it. I know very few people who have never had holes in their pants. Just… no one needs to see that, right? My inner “responsible image” warrior felt the need to confess, but I totally think it’s okay, lol).

You can do these with your hands on dumbbell, couch, chair OR on the floor (think a downward dog position).

Tips
  • Keep your back flat, core tight, and hips neutral (try not to sway from side to side).
  • Think slow and controlled, not fast.
  • Lift as high as you can (which may not be very high to begin with - that’s cool), aiming to eventually bring the inner thigh parallel to the floor.
  • You’re lifting to the SIDE and not back, so engage your core to help you along. :)
Beginners: reduce range of motion & work up to adding height as you go.

Intermediate: slow things down to add difficulty (try holding each lift for a beat before lowering) or add pulses.

Advanced: loop a resistance band around your feet to make this harder OR add those leg weights you might have at home, collecting dust. :)

A decent rep goal is to do this until it starts to get very hard… then add 10 more. If 20-30 seems easy, try adding difficulty with the suggestions above.
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