Category

Movement

Teaching Outside the Fitness Box

By | Movement

By Elizabeth Mooney

It is easy to find yourself in a “rut” as a fitness instructor. Your certifications land you many jobs at local gyms and fitness centers. However, only so much money can be made at these types of establishments. In addition, if you live in a small, rural community, these traditional options may be limited.

Enter Country Fusion®, a new fitness workout that incorporates country music and line dance.  Country Fusion members and instructors have become engaged in a whole new lifestyle and all of the new opportunities that come with it.

Most of Country Fusion choreography is actual line dances. These are dances that get your heart pumping at the fitness studio, but are also recognizable in the Honky Tonks. Country Fusion has capitalized on this unique aspect in many ways that other fitness instructors could replicate as well.

“Star Instructors” are hired to teach line dancing at private parties for birthdays, holidays, showers, etc. Instructors run dances at schools and hold after school programs for either students or school staff.  Country Fusion gets involved in charity events that may hire a country band or have a country theme. Instructors have participated in events at breweries, wineries, liquor tastings, and at stores that sell country wares. Additionally, corporate parties and wellness programs are eager to include workouts like Country Fusion for their employees.

Country Fusion recognizes the interests and needs of its members. Senior living homes hold fitness events with Country Fusion and instructors modify their line dances for the senior population. Many members want to practice and build their confidence with line dancing before coming to class, so I created an online tutorial Country Fusion program available for a monthly subscription.

The most common way that Country Fusion makes money is at bars and restaurants.  Instructors establish themselves at a local fitness center then encourage those same clients to attend a nightlife event. Sneakers are traded for cowboy boots! The instructor teaches a few dances and plays songs that participants know from attending fitness classes. Being visible at these nightlife venues brings new people into the gyms to take County Fusion once they see how fun it is!

Country Fusion has become the leading example of how instructors can get out of the gym and take a workout to new clients. The brand has set itself apart by being both a day out at the gym with your sneakers and a night at the Honky Tonks with your cowboy boots!

About Elizabeth Mooney

Country Fusion® is created by Elizabeth Mooney. Elizabeth has been a dancer since the age of 2 and has taught fitness for over 10 years. Past experience includes directing her own off-Broadway show in NYC, America’s Got Talent Season 6, and Mercedes Benz fashion week. Elizabeth’s personal achievements include being a finalist in the Miss Italia competition, Elite Model Management competition, Bikini USA, and in Miss Hawaiian Tropic. Being an accomplished actress, dancer, choreographer and model, Ms. Mooney has appeared in many television roles, including HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”, and roles on USA’s “Royal Pains”. Her most recent film and television appearances have been as a featured dancer on the Stars network show “Power”. Certifications include AFAA Personal Trainer, Pole Dance, Barre Assets, and training in BOSU and Bootcamp.

www.countryfusion.net

Facebook: Country Fusion

Instagram: countryfusionllc

Movement of the Month: Cable Horizontal Split Squat

By | Movement

By Coach Kennedy

With the fall season now in full swing, winter is not far behind. As we move many of our activities indoors, we also tend to spend more time at the gym, meaning as a trainer and coach we should always be looking for something new or different to add into our own training regiments, but also your clients.

The Cable Horizontal Split Squat is one of those movements that is more often than not performed incorrectly. The biggest error is that many perform this like a regular split squat, meaning the movement is performed vertically, an up and down motion as opposed to a horizontal motion. I’ll be showing you exactly how this movement should be performed and when done correctly, watch out glutes – here comes the fire!

Aside from it being a great exercise for the glutes, other benefits include, dynamic balance (remember that your center of gravity is constantly changing over your base of support due to the constant shifting back and forth, improving that cross body/contra lateral core strength), helping to integrate lower and upper body, and body awareness.

Exercise Execution:

Set your body in a split stance position, right leg in front, foot pointing forward, slight bend in the knee with a tall spine. Your left leg is straight behind you, on your toes. With the left hand, take hold of the cable and keep your arm extended. Begin by moving horizontally, not up and down. The idea is to shift through gravity by taking your right knee towards the second toe. Remember, it’s horizontal, not vertical. The arm holding onto the cable remains extended and locked with no change in its position.

Exercise Protocol:

This movement can be performed for time or repetitions. If time is your choice, begin with approximately 30 seconds per leg. If repetitions is your choice, they can vary depending on the outcome; higher reps for endurance (12-20) and lower reps for strength (8-12).

ALWAYS regress and progress as needed. Not sure how?  Find me at: kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 28-year advocate of health and a 14-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CKM Mentorships, CK Private Coaching, AOW- Anatomy of Work workshops and courses, as well as a Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing his true felt passion for mentoring trainers and coaches, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the Year Award as well as the 2019 Canadian Delegates’ Choice Presenter of the Year Award.

Coach Kennedy is Director of Operations for HQ Consulting, an education training facility that he recently co-established. For more information go to: www.HQconsulting.ca or www.KennedyLodato.com

Jump In and Take Your Next Workout to the Pool

By | Movement

By Cat Kom

We’re not just talking about swimming laps, because you can absolutely get a body-sculpting weight-training session in a pool. So many people think of swimming as a cardio workout, but at Studio SWEAT onDemand, we think it’s an ideal place to gain power and build muscle. Seriously – your body weight is supported in water, so you can focus on building strength and flexibility. The buoyancy of a water workout is also perfect for people who suffer from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, joint replacements, and balance issues.

On average, people burn about 500-600 calories during an hour of swimming, so, if you want the best pool exercises ever, dive into our easy-to-follow guide. We suggest anywhere to three rounds, depending on how much time you have to play.

 Weight Training Twist

It’s not all pool noodles and beach balls. You can actually buy pool weights, foam, and plastic dumbbells that work well underwater. These weights are perfect for building bulk – so, it’s time for you to change your perception around aquatic sports.

What it works: obliques, core, and quads

Here’s how to do it:

  • With both hands, hold your pool noodle or barbell shoulder height with arms straight in front of you.
  • Keeping your arms extended rotate your torso to the right while hopping your feet to the left.
  • Repeat by hopping feet to the right while twisting your upper-body to the left.
  • Repeat back and forth for 30 seconds.

Running in Place

No, you’re not dreaming – it’s really that hard to run in water. So, if you want the ultimate aerobic exercise, then try this new take on high knees. Just remember – slower kicking means less resistance, while faster kicking increases your resistance.

What it works: cardio, hip flexors

Here’s how to do it:

  • With your feet touching the floor, begin to run in place.
  • Go as fast as you can, kicking your legs and lifting your knees as high as you can.
  • Complete for 30 seconds.

Leg Lifts

This deceptively simple ab move is difficult enough on land, but in a pool? You’ll find that you’ll need extra core strength to keep your body from floating away AND push your legs through the water.

What it works: abdominal muscles, obliques, and hip flexors

Here’s how to do it:

  • Holding on to the edge of the pool, lift your legs together until they’re parallel to the floor.
  • Lower them down.
  • Repeat for 25 reps.

 Use Your Noodle

This one may require you to steal your kids’ pool noodle, but trust us, it’s worth it, and they’ll forgive you.

What it works: core, shoulders, and triceps

Here’s how to do it:

  • While on your belly floating in the water, hold on to a horizontal pool noodle.
  • Engage your core to hold your position, then push down the pool noodle with arms straight.
  • Complete for 25 reps.

Tuck Jump

Because it’s so high impact, not everyone’s a fan of the tuck jump. But, in a pool, treading water? You’ll experience that same heart-pumping cardio without being as hard on your knees as you add a bigger element of ab work into the mix.

What it works: core, quads, glutes, deltoids, chest, and lats

Here’s how to do it:

  • Make sure the water comes up to your shoulders.
  • While treading water (or with your feet touching the bottom of the pool), bring both knees up to your chest.
  • Extend your legs straight down.
  • Complete for 10 reps

A note to improve your pool workout: yes, you still have to drink water before and after your workout. Accidental pool water intake doesn’t count!

Just because a workout is creative and fun doesn’t mean it’s inefficient. If anything, changing it up with out-of-the-box exercises keeps you from getting stuck in a workout plateau and keeps you on your toes!

About Cat Kom

Cat Kom is a celebrated fitness trainer who launched a global movement to bring fitness to the masses, no matter their age, ability or skill level. Through her company Studio SWEAT onDemand, a fitness studio based in San Diego, California, she produces streaming workouts that can be accessed through their app, any internet browser, smart device or TV. As one of Huffington Post’s‘ Limit Breaking Female Founders,’ Cat has gained notoriety for her fat-torching classes featuring passionate trainers and real people, getting real results.

 

Movement of the Month: Foot Flow

By | Movement

By Coach Kennedy

I just returned from the LARGEST Fitness Expo of its kind in the WORLD – The 26th annual canfitpro 2019 Fitness Convention and Tradeshow. One thing most of the presenters and delegates had in common…we were on our feet all day, and they were long days. When feet become tired they can become unstable and lead to a host of issues, which brings me to this month’s movement called FOOT FLOW.

These moves could change your life, and I’m going to quickly explain how.

  1. Foot strength: While there are many day-to-day movements and exercises in the gym (calves raises) that can help strengthen the extrinsic muscles of the foot, in my experience 99% of the population does NOT do any specific exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot. The benefit? A stable foot allows the ankle more freedom to move. Limited ankle dorsiflexion affects all movement.
  2. Single Leg Balance. With every step you take, you’re constantly shifting from one leg to another, making walking a single leg (SL) balance movement. One foot is fixed and one is always lifted. When you run, you’re always on a SL. That’s reason enough, but a big reason is also fall prevention. Regardless of age.
  3. Glute Strength: to balance on a beam means your body is constantly fighting to balance itself in the frontal plane. One of the prime muscles doing this is your Glute Medius, as well as your TFL (tensor fascia late). By driving the foot into the ground or beam you make a direct connection to your glutes. In the video, Jason goes for a full two minutes, ask him how his glutes felt!
  4. Helps keep your knees safe: Simply put, our feet are connected to our glutes. As I mentioned above, as your feet move side to side so will your Glute Medius. AND, your Glutes drive your knees…healthy feet=healthy glutes=healthy knees. We are one integrated kinetic chain from toe to fingertip.
  5. Proprioception: Ever wonder why you don’t miss your mouth when you eat with a spoon or fork? Ever wonder how you never miss a step when using stairs? How is it that you know exactly how high to lift your leg? It’s called proprioception, body awareness. This means during life or sport whenever you’re bumped, pushed, hit etc, you have a greater chance of being able to stay up or recover. You have a better ability to keep your COG (center of gravity) in-between your BOS (base of support-the space between your feet.)

Exercise Execution:

Please note that many will need to begin these movements on a stable surface. In fact, I would suggest regardless of your skill level that you do a bit of practicing on a stable surface to begin. This is a great way to lay down those patterns while not having as much concern about the balance aspect. Please note that if the stable ground is also a challenge, you would begin holding on to a dowel rod or body bar.

Depending on where you begin, the goal is to take you from the supported stable surface, to an unsupported stable surface, up to the beam supported and finally on the beam with no support. Where you begin is KEY. So, do not advance yourself too quickly.

Also, keep in mind that in the video Jason (@coachjay.persaud) performs all of this in one flow. You can break it down per movement. In other words, first perform the SL then stop and restart and perform the 2nd movement and so on.

In the exercise protocol below I’ve listed ways to begin, but this is what you are looking to work up to:

  1. The SL Balance: 30 secs per side.
  2. Clocks: Left Leg: 12PM, 3PM, 6PM. Right Leg: 12PM, 9PM, 6PM.
  3. Runners “A”’s: 5 per side.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  If you’re interested in picking up a beam go to: www.hqconsulting.ca and once you get to the cart use the code CKHQ10 to receive 10% off just for being a canfitpro member.

Exercise Protocol:

Once you have been able to progress from the ground to the beam:

  1. The SL Balance: Begin with 10 secs and work up to 30 secs depending on your goals.
  2. The Clocks: Begin with just tapping 12PM once per Leg. Work up to the full circle. Repeat if you like.
  3. Runner “A”’s: Begin with one per side, work up to 5 per side, or more.
  4. ALWAYS, ALWAYS remember: SAFETY FIRST.
  5. ALWAYS regress and progress as needed. Not sure how? Find me at: kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 28-year advocate of health and a 14-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CKM Mentorships, CK Private Coaching, AOW- Anatomy of a Work workshops and courses as well as a Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing his true felt passion for mentoring trainers and coaches, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach and Personal Trainer Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the Year award as well as the 2019 Canadian Delegates Choice Presenter of the Year award.

Coach Kennedy is Director of Operations for HQ Consulting, an education training facility that he recently co-established. For more information go to: www.HQconsulting.ca or www.KennedyLodato.com

 

Movement of the Month: Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press

By | Movement

By Coach Kennedy

Barbell bench press, barbell squat, barbell deadlift, barbell bent over row, barbell hip thrusts:  we’ve all heard of these very important, KEY fundamental movements in exercise and I’m sure we’ve all performed them at some time or another. I’m a big believer that fitness tools, if applied with purpose, not circus, are a great way to add variety and fun to one’s programming. Why does this matter? Adherence, that’s why. When programming is designed with purpose, AND at the same time is made to be fun, people stick to it longer. Longer means results… results equal happy clients… happy clients equals renewals and referrals, and so on and so on!

With that said, in reference to tools, let me point out that the typical barbell can be used for far more than just your fundamental movements.  In fact, if you get creative, you can perform complete programs, if you were so inclined, that ONLY used a barbell. Think about it…the movements I mentioned above are all very static movements, important but nevertheless static.

This brings me to the Movement of the Month: Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press.

This exercise is a great example of taking a barbell and using it with movement in an upright position, not on your back, not just bent over, but actually using it in a very functional way, if you will. Life and sport happen this way, therefore it’s a great idea to consider how an exercise transfers to life and sport when designing programs. Do they serve a purpose? Do they help your client achieve their goal?

As for the benefits of the Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press, they’re endless!

Let’s begin with mobility, which is required in order to perform the lateral lunge correctly.

This leads into deceleration. As you begin to come down into the lunge your quadriceps need to be able to slow you down, decelerate you with control. And, the faster you come down into the lunge, the greater the ability to decelerate. It’s called eccentric strength.

Power is a combination of strength and speed. You’re required to move with some speed, from when you hit the ground, in order to come back up into your starting position. It’s like you’re exploding once your lead leg hits the ground. There is also some direction change, which requires agility.

In addition, let’s consider the muscular coordination required from “toes to fingertips” in order to perform this integrated movement. This coordination is intra (within each muscle) and inter (with other muscles creating the movement). All in all, a very effective, dynamic, integrated, multi-planar movement using a good old-fashioned barbell in a very NEW way.

And lastly, as I said before, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see being done with barbells. Which means clients enjoy it, they think it’s cool and they always come back for more!

Exercise Execution:

Begin by standing with feet hip- to-shoulder width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders in their set position (elevate, retract and depress) and the barbell set up with your landmine placed in your right hand. Take a lateral lunge to your right, maintain a tall spine. As soon as you complete the lateral lunge, reverse your movement back to the starting position while simultaneously pressing the barbell. Repeat for the allotted time or repetitions then change sides.

Watch the video for an exercise demonstration.

Exercise Protocol:  

Generally performed for 30 seconds per side or can be measured in repetitions, 6-12 per side depending on your goals. Apply exercise based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Contact kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca

Special thanks to Rich Wigmore and Taylor Rawson, cofounders of RT Health Company, for allowing me to use there space for all of my videos and mentorships. www.rthealthcompany.com

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing his true felt passion for mentoring trainers and coaches, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy).

For more information visit: www.KennedyLodato.com

Movement of the Month: ViPR Lateral Bound with Single Leg Landing

By | Movement

With Coach Kennedy

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been exercising, we all go through various phases of expanding our knowledge of the human body and movement. What sort of phases?  For myself I’m always searching for new ways to integrate the human body. I love feeling powerful, strong, agile and endurant!  So, I’ll go through phases where I won’t touch a weight for weeks on end, yet I feel stronger then ever. I’ll go through other phases where I’ll spend all my time moving on the ground like an animal (called Animal Flow). And yes, I’ll even go through short periods where I won’t attend the gym for weeks at a time as I find the need to just connect through daily movement at home, walks, hikes and bike rides.

This is one of the reasons I love using a tool called the ViPR  (www.vipr.com).

Unlike any other tool (I may be biased here), it allows me to integrate all aspects of training for strength, power, agility, core, endurance, balance, proprioception, stability, mobility and mostly…just a load of fun! Yes, it can have real purpose and function, and be fun. Let’s also not forget the muscular coordination that has to take place, intra and inter, and the amount of caloric expenditure required.

Which brings me to the Movement of the Month:  ViPR Lateral bound with Single Leg Landing.

Strength comes in all forms, in this case function, agility and endurance. There is movement in all planes of motion, that’s functional from a human movement perspective. Then the ability to load, explode and land during direction change is all about agility! And lastly, you have to have endurance.

Power is the ability to take strength and add speed. Power is a KEY component driven from a solid core, which you need plenty of in this exercise. And a stable core means the ability to drive more force.

We also have proprioception and mobility. Watch the ankle, the hips and thoracic spine, and it’s easy to see that mobility is a requirement in order to complete this lateral bound movement safely and efficiently. And, when we combine all of these benefits they contribute to our body awareness. I want you for a moment to imagine the landing: quick to balance while this weighted tool moves along carrying its own kinetic energy that has to be controlled and absorbed by you. If you’re not aware of where you body is in space, you can see how this would create an issue performing this exercise.

Lastly, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see. Which means clients enjoy it, they think it’s cool and they come back for more!

Exercise Execution:

Begin in your athletic stance: feet hip width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders set (elevate, protract, depress) while holding the ViPR with both hands in a neutral grip directly in front of you. Drive your hips slightly to the right (this will create a preload effect) then safely, but quickly, drive the hips back towards the left and land on your left leg while letting the ViPR follow along as you imagine driving the ViPR into the ground with the right hand. The moment you land on your left leg, absorb the energy through the upper leg then explode quickly to the right side, repeat and continue for the allotted time.

Watch the video for an exercise demonstration.

Exercise Protocol:

Perform for 30 seconds per round. Apply exercises based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Contact kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

Special thanks to Rich Wigmore and Taylor Rawson, cofounders of RT Health Company, for allowing me to use their space for all of my videos and mentorship. Visit their website www.thealthcompany.com

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching sessions, and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing the role of Fitness Educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach, and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, co-founder of the CFEA (Canadian Fitness Education Alliance), and master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy). For more information visit  www.KennedyLodato.com

Is It Too Late for a Summer Body?

By | Healthy Living, Movement

By Fyonna Vanderwerf, B.A, B.Sc, canfitpro PRO TRAINER

With 1,440 minutes every day until that first week of September, it’s never too late to get in shape and create some really great habits to keep as we move through 2019.

What is the biggest barrier? I can tell you right now, it’s the space between the ears on our head. It’s listening to that inner chatter that says you are not able to stick with a habit. That’s what goal setting is, planning a better you, whether it’s being able to say no to drinking too much at the backyard barbeque or deciding that it’s no longer exclusive territory of Michelle Obama to rock every sleeveless outfit she owns!

You have this in five steps. Note, I did not say ‘easy’ – nothing worth a change ever is, but I assure you sticking to these steps 90% of the time will get you to 90% of your success. That other 10% is up to that space in your head to do make up the difference.

What’s at stake here?

  1. A better mindset.
  2. A confidence that people see and feel around you that inspires them to try harder. That is the ultimate gift – the world gets a little extra help from you.
  3. A body that is stronger, more mobile, and less fearful.
  4. An ability to progress through change and make adjustments for long term results.
  5. The integrity and chutzpah that comes with achieving something you’ve worked hard on!

Ready?

  1. Journal

It makes you accountable, either by an app or in a book. It reminds you of your path. It is also an extra way to gain resilience in the brain to follow through. You’ve thought it, you’ve documented it and by writing it down daily you are keeping accountability to yourself. Journaling the night before for five minutes gives your brain a reboot so you begin with success the next day by absorbing ideas and intentions. A few ideas to reflect on daily: three successful parts of the day, three ways you are grateful, two areas to work on, and a yummy quote to keep you going.

Action step: Find a blank journal/ app to record and start.

  1. Feed the Mind

Now is the time to make that noggin work for YOU. Start manifesting your success by reading inspirational and motivational content. Books that have given me the mental focus to follow through on my goals (competing at Worlds for bodybuilding and placing third in an Ironman triathlon for my age group) are; The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow; Make Your Bed by William McRaven; and one of my most absolute favourites, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Not a reader? Try a podcast.

Action step: Google “motivating books” or find one in the library, online, book store, from a friend or co-worker.

  1. Find a Workout

I’ve had clients who wear their gym clothes to bed so when they wake up they are ready to go, with one less excuse. The challenge with finding that perfect workout is  the volume of ideas out there, along with every food plan known to the planet to shrink this, build that and eradicate that wiggly skin on your elbow. Listed below is a simple program using a dowel, broomstick or the floor. This program can be done as seen or elevated on a platform, if getting to the floor is not a fit. No gym required, just arms that want definition.

Execution

Each exercise is done in a circuit of 30-45 seconds each; repeat all exercises two to three times. Stay mindful of your breath.

Press Backs: Stand or sit, dowel behind your back. Find your power posture, shoulders down and back in set position, lift dowel and pulse to hit the triceps.

Triceps Dip and Taps: Posture tall, arms strong and steady, legs bent 90 degrees. Allow glutes to drop down, hinging begins at the elbow, engaging the triceps (Fig. 1). As you lift up, touch toes or knee with opposite hand while balancing (Fig. 2).

Do the other leg.

Repeat.

This is super functional and modifiable for many levels. It’s quite common to hold your breath while balancing.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

Moving Planks: Assume the typical plank position, using knees or on toes.

Place weight on elbows under the shoulders.

Move forward and backward as if you were sawing.

This targets the shoulders and core.

Happy Canoes: Standing in a lunge, either shortened or full lunge, dowel out in front at shoulder height (Fig 3).

Turn and dip dowel as if it were a paddle (Fig. 4) and then dip to the opposite side (Fig. 5).

For added fun, do this as a moving lunge across the room. It’s definitely harder than it looks, but it works everything well.

 

Fig. 1

Fig. 3

Fig. 2

Fig. 4

Fig. 3

Fig. 5

Triangle Pushups: On the floor or elevated surface, on knees or toes, turn hands inwards so your thumbs and first fingers on each hand resemble the outline of a triangle – it could also be a bigger triangle for more stability.

Lower down, keeping elbows pointing out, as low as you can go.

Push hands into the floor to come back up.

Repeat.

This is a fun way to work the arms and shoulders as well as the chest.

Action Step: Try the program above, email me to let me know what you think or email me something that worked even better to rock the arms.

  1. Food and Friends to Nourish

Eight out of 10 things that go in our mouth should aim to fuel cells, muscles, growth systems and rest patterns. Think about food neither being good or bad – just what you can pull from it.

You spend 75% of your time with the same four to six people. How are they nourishing you? If they knew you were focused on getting healthier would they encourage you to bring healthier food to that barbeque or would they offer to have more selection? Surround yourself with people that root for you. Let them know you are making some changes and I’ll bet that some of them will jump on board that train to be a part of it.

Simple food strategies in the summer could include hydrating more – lime in water is a quencher on a dock as much as we pretend that gin and tonic is. Pick crunchy rice crackers, fruits and veggies over chips and Cheezies. Reduce those highly processed items and go simpler – a cleaner protein over a sausage or store bought burger.

Action Step: Read through that journal and see what 10 items you have chosen to eat.

  1. Control is Not Just for Janet Jackson

As busy multi-taskers, we all love to tackle everything. Guess what? You’d be better at what you do if you did less and delegated more so you could focus on your game changing skills. Ask yourself these three questions: what do you do the same, what do you do less of, and what do you let go of.

Action Step: Look at three habit patterns you have that are keeping you from being healthier or not as strong and see which ones fall into each question.

So there you have it, five strategies that can help make your summer fitness goals easier to reach, just in time!

About Fyonna Vanderwerf

Fyonna Vanderwerf is a canfitpro PRO TRAINER for PTS, HWL, FIS, and FMA. She lives and works in Muskoka, Ontario as a coach and fitness instructor, with over 50 certifications. She is a Grandmaster competitor in body building at the Provincial and World level in figure and fitness modeling. She runs a successful personal coaching business.

You can reach her at beefitfyonna@gmail.com or visit her website at Bee Fit With Fyonna.

Movement of the Month: DB Multi-Planar Hip Thrust with Swing Switch

By | Movement

With Coach Kennedy

Summer brings along summer sports and many outdoor activities. Walking, running, hiking, mountain climbing, soccer, football, baseball, tennis, golf, and the list goes on, and on! One sure way to hinder your summer plans is an injury.  If you consider, for a moment, the strength and movement patterns required to perform the previously listed activities and sports, you quickly see how easy it is for injury to occur.

Multi-directional, multi-planar, quick explosive movements, while they carry many benefits, they also bring along the risk of injury just by their sheer nature.  For example, at some point or another, 80% of runners will experience an injury!

So, as fitness professionals, what can we do? For starters, train the body as an integrated unit as it was designed. We need to create strength as a whole unit, train the body in multi planes and directions, and integrate other aspects such as speed, power, balance and strength.

The DB Multi-Planar Hip Thrust W/ Swing Switching  is a great example of taking a fundamental movement (hip thrusting) and adding in a second plane (frontal), making it multi planar and multi-directional. This creates strength and tissue resilience in all directions. So, when asked to move in and out of different planes our bodies do so efficiently and effectively, with decreased chances of injury.

This exercise requires the ability to integrate from the ground up. It requires the coordination of many muscles and joints cohesively working together.  Some of the benefits include intra and intermuscular coordination, balance, agility, power, strength, endurance and stability. Remember, stability drives force and safety; the more stable we are, the more force we can generate safely. This is great for caloric expenditure and movement efficiency.

Lastly, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see and perform. This means, as a trainer, it shows your ability to be different and think outside the box. And your client get to enjoy the benefits, as mentioned above, and the fun of moving!  Why does that matter? Because that means they stick to exercise, which is the prime directive.

Exercise Execution:

  • Begin by standing with feet hip width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders set (elevate, protract, depress) while holding a DB in your right hand.
  • Take a lateral lunge to your left and, without pausing, reverse your position back to the start while at the same time swinging the DB with the right hand up to shoulder height. (Remember that the swing comes from driving the HIPS forward. It’s hip hinging).
  • At this point, the DB is handed over to your left hand as you proceed into a right lateral lunge.
  • Repeat this process for the allotted time or reps.

Exercise Protocol:

I find that when performing movement based/ multi-planar exercises like this they work best based on time – generally 30 seconds per round. Yes, you can also count reps, if you like – generally 10-12 per side, depending on the goal.

Apply exercises based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Reach out anytime about this or anything fitness related: kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching sessions, and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing the role of Fitness Educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach, and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, co-founder of the CFEA (Canadian Fitness Education Alliance), and master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy). For more information visit  www.KennedyLodato.com

Pulling for Power™: Six Simple Steps to Total Pull-up Proficiency

By | Movement

By “SGT Ken®” Weichert

The US Marines Physical Fitness Test (PFT) utilizes the Pull-up exercise to effectively measure the grip strength and power of the back and arms muscles.

The love-hate relationship with the pull-up

I have always been a huge fan of the pull-up exercise, so much that I perform pull-ups nearly at every workout. I have noticed that people will either love the pull-up or hate it. If you have grown up performing the pull-up, you will more likely be able to perform the exercise as an adult. If you have never performed a pull-up and attempted to perform it for the first time as an adult, you may find the exercise extremely challenging to accomplish.

The good news about pull-up training for beginners

It is never too late to learn how to perform an exercise safely and effectively. Pulling for Power is a fitness program for the person that has never performed a pull-up, or has not performed many in the past and could benefit from a gradual approach.

As my Drill Sergeant said at Basic Combat Training (BCT), “To master this task we will need to perform the crawl, walk and run phases.”

Look at accomplishing this program through three primary parts: Progression, Variety and Precision. Gradually progress at a safe rate within your own fitness level and expertise, perform a variety of movements to help achieve optimum results from your workout, and strive to attain proper exercise form at all times.

Let’s get started!

STEP 1: WARM-UP

Calisthenics: Perform 4-6 minutes of calisthenics, such as running in-place, Side-Straddle-Hops “Jumping Jacks” or jumping rope in order to warm-up the body.

Dynamic stretching: Perform 2-4 minutes of dynamic flexibility exercises, such as Knee Lifts, Hip Stretches, Leg Lifts and Shoulder Rotations.

STEP 2: ASSISTED PULL-UPS

Assisted pull-up

Assisted pull-up

Equipment needed: A fixed horizontal bar that is 1” or up to 1-3/4” inches in diameter and securely positioned approximately 3-4 feet above the ground.

Primary muscles targeted: Latissimus Dorsi

Synergists: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Teres Major, Deltoid (Posterior), Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Trapezius (lower, middle), Pectoralis Major (sternal), Pectoralis Minor

Dynamic stabilizers: Biceps Brachii, Triceps (long head)

Start: Sit underneath the pull-up bar. Grasp the bar tightly with your hands over or under the bar, arms shoulder-width apart and fully extended. Tighten your abdominal muscles and elevate your hips until your back and legs form a straight line. Adjust your foot position until your chest is aligned under the bar.

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, slowly pull your body toward the bar by bending both elbows. Return to the start position and continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body upward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Warning: Try not to rock your body while performing Assisted Pull-ups. Swinging or kipping is when you use a forceful movement of the legs and hips at the start of the exercise in order to gain momentum. Sudden uncontrolled pitching actions with your body during the onset of the pull-up may prevent your stabilizers from protecting you from unwarranted strain or possible injury.

Basic: 1-3 repetitions

Intermediate: 4-8 repetitions

Advanced: 9-15 repetitions

Extreme: 16-24 repetitions

STEP 3: TRX REAR DELTOID ‘T’ FLY

TRX Rear Deltoid T Fly

Equipment needed: TRX

Start: Stand facing the anchor with your feet together, or up to 12 inches apart, holding the handles shoulder level, palms inward. Position your feet in front of your hands. Lean back and fully extend arms, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Note: A staggered stance may be used for added stability.

TRX Rear Deltoid T Fly

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Keep tension on the TRX and maintain alignment with your shoulders, hips and legs. Return to start position and continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body forward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Basic: 1-2 repetitions

Intermediate: 3-6 repetitions

Advanced: 7-12 repetitions

Extreme: 13–20 repetitions

Try our comprehensive TRX workout Operation Hang Time: Strength and Suspension Training for FREE!

STEP 4: TRX BACK ROW

TRX Back Row

TRX Back Row

Equipment needed: TRX

Start: Stand facing the anchor with your feet together, or up to 12 inches apart, holding the handles shoulder level, palms inward. Position your feet in front of your hands. Lean back and fully extend arms, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Note: A staggered stance may be used for added stability.

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, pull your body toward the anchor by bending both elbows. Keep tension on the TRX and maintain alignment with your shoulders, hips and legs. Return to start position and continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body forward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Basic: 1-6 repetitions

Intermediate: 7-15 repetitions

Advanced: 16-25 repetitions

Extreme: 26-40 repetitions

Fit Tip: You can add a rotational variation with the arms by turning your palms upward as you perform the row.

Watch our 3-minute TRX workout Operation Fit for Duty: TRX Circuit Training Crash Course for FREE:

STEP 5: US MARINE CORPS PULL-UP

Pull-up

Pull-up

Equipment needed: A fixed horizontal bar that is 1” or up to 1-3/4” inches in diameter and securely positioned approximately 7.5 feet above the ground.

Start: The bar must be grasped with both palms facing forward or to the rear and arms fully extended beneath the bar. The legs may be positioned in a straight or bent position, but may not be raised above the waist.

Actions: A repetition is counted when you bend both elbows and raise your body with your arms until the chin is above the bar and lower your body until your arms are fully extended. Continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body upward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

US Marine Corps pull-up standards of performance: US Marines are not permitted to rest their chins on the bar. The intent is to execute a complete vertical or dead-hang pull-up. There is often a modest amount of rocking movements that will occur as the pull-up is performed continuously. The intent is to avoid a pendulum-like motion that aids in the ability to execute the pull-up. Movements like whipping, kicking, kipping of the body or legs, or any leg movement used to assist in the vertical progression of the pull-up is not authorized. If observed, the repetition will not count.

STEP 6: COOL-DOWN

Dynamic or Static stretching: Perform 2-4 minutes of dynamic or static flexibility exercises.

STAMINA STOPWATCH

The Stamina Stopwatch includes the timing estimates for each set of the Champion’s Challenge (does not include the 6-min warm-up and 4-min cool-down).

Quick Fix: 1 full set of 4 rounds = approximately 20 minutes

Double Tap: 2 full sets of 4 rounds = approximately 40 minutes

Triple Threat: 3 full sets of 4 rounds = approximately 60 minutes

Author notes:

Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have prior to commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or shortness of breath.

Additionally, the views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

REFERENCES

Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program. Marine Corps Order 6100.13 W/CH 1. Washington, DC, Department of Defense, 2008. Available at http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO%206100.13%20W_CH%201.pdf; accessed May 13,2019.

Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Semper Fit Fitness and Health Promotion Policy. Marine Corps Order 1700.29. Washington, DC, Department of Defense, 2013. Available at http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/MCO%201700_29.pdf; accessed May 13, 2019.

Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Marine Corps Physical Fitness and Combat Fitness Tests. Marine Corps Order 6100.13A C 469. Washington, DC, Department of Defense, 2018. Available at https://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO%206100.13A.pdf?ver=2018-01-23-094656-933; accessed May 13, 2019.

Remarks:

Come join us for the Boot Camp Instructor Certification Course at canfitpro 2019:

  • 14 August 2019, 8:00am-4:00pm, Session #105, canfitpro 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are ready to help you create clarity in your purpose so you can see the opportunity in your practice.

Feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have at sgtken@sgtken.com.

Hooah!

SGT KEN®

Want some free fitness tips before we see you at one of our events, go to Start Fitness Workouts.

About Sgt. Ken Weichert

SGT. Ken is an international speaker, six-time U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, and highly decorated combat veteran. He’s trained over 500,000 soldiers and civilians through Operation Fit to Fight, has written over 100 magazine articles, and created the fitness and health education website for the U.S. Army National Guard. Ken founded the START Fitness® boot camp program, has starred in several best-selling fitness videos, and was named canfitpro’s Best New Presenter (2011).