Tag: workout tips

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Single Leg Circles

Purpose: To improve flexibility and range of motion at your hip joint and challenge abdominals.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor.
  2. Press your shoulders and arms (palms down) into the mat and keep your neck long.
  3. Straighten one leg to the ceiling and turn it out slightly from the hip.
  4. Draw a circle with your leg. That is, move your leg across the center of your body, then lower it, bring it around the other side and up; pause at the top.
  5. Do not let your leg swing too far right or left (outside your hip joint). The motion of the leg should not cause you to roll off to one side or arch your back.
  6. Repeat 5-8 times on each leg, inhaling as you circle your leg, exhaling as you pause. Then, reverse direction.

Checklist:

  • Anchor your pelvis and do not shrug your shoulders.
  • Avoid lifting your chin and crunching the back of your neck.
  • Remember to draw your navel in and up, hollowing out your midsection.

Goal: Remain very still in your upper body, keep pelvis level and control the circling movement of your leg from your core.

Progression: Straighten your floor leg (not bent anymore). And, make your circles of the straight leg a little bigger each time if you can keep your back and pelvis still.

Note: If any popping of hip occurs, bend your knee and draws the circles with the knee bent.

Visualization: Imagine drawing circles on the ceiling with your leg.

Quick Tips for Jump Starting Weight Loss!

For most of us this time of the year there we are looking to our future and where we want to be. Most of us are setting those New Year’s resolutions and trying to better ourselves. For the most part every person wants to change their body image, whether it’s lose weight, lean up or gain muscle mass. Here are some quick tips that anyone can do to help them start changing their body image:

  1. Wake up earlier. If part of your metabolism (the total calories your burn through the day) is the calories you burn with daily activity; then if you have a longer day you are burning more calories, and over a year those calories add up to shed pounds.
  2. Eat Breakfast. By eating your body has to break down the food, this increase your metabolism and burns calories. This caloric burn stays elevated for a while after eating while your body is digesting its food. If you skip breakfast or eat it at 10 am, you are wasting a lot of time where your body could have an elevated metabolism.
  3. Do your exercise earlier in your day if you can! Just like eating, working out with weighted exercises will increase your metabolism throughout the day. So if you can make your workout earlier in the day your metabolism is elevated for a longer period of time.
  4. Drinking green tea or coffee is supposed to increase your metabolism and mobilize fats for your body to utilize easier.
  5. Write down your goals and have them visible. Studies have shown that people who write down their goals are three times more likely to be successful.
  6. Change it up. This is important in most things you do. Most of us have a routine we do every day; we can drive to work and not even remember how we got there because we take the same route every day. Most of us go to the gym and perform the same workout we have been doing for years without seeing much success or change in our bodies. Try changing up things in your daily routine, such as driving a different route, brushing your teeth with your opposite hand, or go to the gym and try something new (just make sure you know how to utilize the equipment correctly). By changing up your routine you actually use different parts of your brain, making your think and react faster as well as make yourself smarter!

Not everything we do for our health and body image has to cost money; there are some easy things we can do that don’t take any extra time or money but they will take some extra effort…basically you should think about starting your day earlier, make sure to eat your breakfast, which could include green tea or coffee, write down goals and change up your normal routine. All of these things every person can do without much effort and start the process of becoming healthier and changing their body image. If you have any questions please contact Seattle Athletic Club Downtown’s Fitness Director Jacob Galloway.

Easy Outside Workout Tips

The sun is finally out and you are bursting at the seams to get out there and exercise. But you are torn because you don’t want to give up your weightlifting hour, or your time on the elliptical but you aren’t a runner and walking doesn’t really seem like much of a workout. But it’s Seattle, there is finally Vitamin D to absorb and you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Well I have the answer for you, it’s called HILLS!

You can walk/run/bike/lunge/skip/go backwards up any hill and if you push yourself with speed or by wearing a weight vest I can assure you it will be a workout. Find the hilliest part of your neighborhood. Find a new area of town you want to see (a hilly one of course) and start at the bottom and work your way up. I personally enjoy hill repeats on a nice sunny day. If I don’t feel like putting miles in running I will simply find a steep incline or a mildly long incline and run up it. If it’s short I’ll do it 10-20 times if it’s long or I’m going up two or more blocks I might only do 5-10 repeats. The goal is always to keep moving, the down is the rest so enjoy it while it lasts. As soon as you get back to the bottom it’s time to sprint/walk/ride etc back up again.

If this sounds like fun but you are looking for a little more diversity try adding in stairs to your workout. Queen Anne has TONS of them (as do MANY other areas of town), add them to a run, add them to a walk, just go out and get up some stairs! You can repeat as many times as you like, go as fast or as slow as you like, use your body weight or added weight, whatever strikes your fancy. The goal is to push yourself just like you would in the gym but be able to be outside and enjoy the roses.

Lastly if you don’t feel too weird about being that guy doing squats, push-ups, park bench jumps on your trail run adding in the body weight exercises to your cardio is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Tired of running/walking and you still have 3 more miles to go? Take a “break” and do 20 squats, 20 push-ups, 20 floor to ceilings, and or 20 tuck jumps. Take the gym outside and enjoy our few months sunshine!