Total Body Resistance Exercise: TRX – Get hooked!

Have you seen yellow and black straps hanging around gyms? They look like Cirque-du-Soleil contraptions, but don’t worry – they are not meant for aerial tricks or contortions. The Navy SEALs, who were looking to maintain their strength while on the move, created what is called TRX out of necessity.

 

Short for Total Body Resistance Exercise, TRX leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete hundreds of exercises. TRX Suspension Training develops strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously. In fact, its mantra is: “Training movements, not muscles.” TRX can be used for pre-habilitation, rehabilitation, and sport-specific training purposes.

 

So, next time you see a TRX hanging around, ask a certified fitness professional to teach you some exercises. After giving it a try, you may be hooked!

 

Click here for three great moves:  TRX EXERCISES

 

Author: Julia Anthony, a HealthEase fitness specialist, is certified in TRX suspension training.

 

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Armand Tecco

Armand Tecco

As president and founder of HealthEase, Armand is dedicated to his corporate clients and helping them achieve their goals for employee wellness. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fitness Management from West Chester University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University. Armand is also certified through the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

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A Fresh Start to Fitness

It can be a little overwhelming to start a new fitness program because of all the options available – exercise classes, diets, fitness gadgets, gyms, and more. To help you start your fitness journey, here are some simple steps to follow:

 

Assess your fitness level

Assessing and recording your baseline fitness level can give you benchmarks for measuring progress. Consider finding out…

  • Your pulse before and after you walk one mile
  • How long it takes to walk one mile
  • How many pushups you can do in a minute
  • How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs straight in front
  • Your waist size, measured around your abdomen just above your hipbone

Design your fitness program

Avoid setting unrealistic goals; instead have a plan that is attainable. When designing your fitness program consider these points:

 

Have a goal.

Are you starting a fitness program to lose weight? Or do you have another goal such as completing a 5k race? Having set goals can help you gauge your progress and keep you on track.

 

Gather your equipment.

Start with athletic shoes, choosing a pair designed for the activity you have in mind. If you plan on purchasing exercise equipment, choose something that’s practical and easy to use.

 

Create a balanced routine.

Most adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. Adults also need one or more days of strength training weekly.

 

Build activity into your daily routine.

Finding time to exercise is the most difficult challenge most people face when beginning a fitness program. Schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Or watch your favorite show while exercising. You don’t have to do all your exercise at one time. Shorter but more frequent sessions have aerobic benefits too! Break your sessions up into 10 or 15 minute sessions, adding up to 30 minutes.

 

Go at your own pace.

It you are new to exercise, start slowly. If you have a previous injury or medical condition, consult your doctor for help designing a fitness program that gradually improves range of motion, strength, and endurance. If you feel any pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard.

 

Allow time to recover.

Many people give up when their muscles and joints become sore or injured from overdoing it. Plan time between exercise sessions to allow your body to rest and recover. Give yourself time to warm up and cool down with easy walking or gentle stretching. Work your way up to 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

 

Monitor your progress.

Retake your personal fitness assessment 4-6 weeks after you start your program. If you lose motivation, set new goals or try a new activity. Exercising with a friend or taking a class at a fitness center may help, too!

 

Jamie Verdini is a HealthEase Fitness Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Temple University. She is also a certified ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, AAAI Personal Trainer, and a licensed Zumba Instructor. She enjoys working with her clients one -on-one and also teaching group exercise classes like Boot Camp and Zumba.

Run Faster with More Effective Arm Swings

In the last post, I described how to use your arms to run better. Now, if you want to get stronger, faster, and more proficient with your movements, practice the arm drive. This exercise will improve your arm swings when you add it to your training program twice a week.

 

Here is how to perform the arm drive:

 

1. Relax the shoulders, and keep a straight spine. Imagine a straight line drawn from your head, through your shoulders to your hip. Bend the elbows to 90 degrees. Use 5 lb. dumbbells in each hand to create a pendulum-like swing from your shoulders.

 

2. While keeping your elbows bent, reciprocally swing your arms straight forward and back like a pendulum. Keep your body aligned in a straight position, and focus the movement to occur at the shoulder joint.

 

3. Keep the arms moving in a straight plane, and don’t let them cross your body. While running, if your arms cross your body, it will cause too much force and will result in too much torque and biomechanical ineffectiveness.

 

4. When your arm is on the downswing, your hand should never pass the beginning of the gluteal muscles (buttocks) because when your arm goes further back you begin to straighten the arm out, which slows you down.

 

5. Perform this movement 10 times on each side. Do two or three sets.

 

Click on this link to see my video of this exercise: http://www.ehow.com/video_12337903_exercise-plans-track-athletes.html

Joe Pepe

Joe Pepe

Joe Pepe, a HealthEase Assistant Manager, is a former professional soccer player in Philadelphia. A personal trainer and group exercise instructor, Joe trains clients and teaches a variety of group exercise classes, including Spin, Step, and Boot Camp. He is also a member of the National Council of Strength & Fitness. Within the fitness industry, Joe aims to make a positive impact on each and every person he encounters.

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Run with Your Arms!

To run fast, you need good leg movement. No surprise there. However, runners tend to forget it’s a full-body motion and that arm swings play an important role in your running mechanics.

 

Arm swings help your forward propulsion and balance when you run. They are the reciprocal reaction of leg movement. The backward motion of the arm swing helps the opposite leg to push off the ground and, in turn, sets your speed.

 

FIVE TIPS FOR RUNNERS TO MAKE BETTER USE OF THE ARMS:

  1. Relax your hands. When you start to clench your fists that tightness spreads through your forearms, biceps, shoulders, neck, and face. Once you tighten up and lose range of motion in your arms, your stride shortens.
  2. Swing your arms. Speed is a product of stride length and stride frequency, which are determined, in part, by the motion of the arms. If you are lazy or passive with your arm action, you limit your potential for speed.
  3. Watch your arm angles. Your front arm angle should be between 60 and 90 degrees at the elbow, and your back arm should be between 90 and 120 degrees at the elbow. Outside of this range, you’ll run slower and get tired faster.
  4. Lock your elbows. Elbow angle should only change slightly, as a result of elastic response.
  5. Maintain your arms’ range of motion. It should generally be hip to cheek. That is, the hand clears the hip in the back and comes up to about cheek height in front. If you go beyond that, in either direction, you risk injury to the muscles.

In my next posting I will provide exercises to build better arm swings.

Joe Pepe

Joe Pepe

Joe Pepe, a HealthEase Assistant Manager, is a former professional soccer player in Philadelphia. A personal trainer and group exercise instructor, Joe trains clients and teaches a variety of group exercise classes, including Spin, Step, and Boot Camp. He is also a member of the National Council of Strength & Fitness. Within the fitness industry, Joe aims to make a positive impact on each and every person he encounters.

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H.I.I.T is making impact with exercise enthusiasts!

Two HealthEase fitness professionals – Ty Tomlinson and Nick Perry – were featured in a recent article on H.I.I.T. Here is a snippet from the article, describing this new group exercise class, which is similar to Tabata. Check out the link below to read the entire story!

 

H.I.I.T stands for high intensity interval training. Once you decided to give a H.I.I.T class a try you will find that it is made up of quick short high-energy exercises mixed with small amounts of rest. I mean small amounts of rest! Due to the high intensity of these short bursts, you use your anaerobic system as the primary energy source, which increases your heart rate drastically, allowing you to burn more calories from your fat stores.

 

http://www.pmzmagazine.com/h-t-skinny-jeans/

Armand Tecco

Armand Tecco

As president and founder of HealthEase, Armand is dedicated to his corporate clients and helping them achieve their goals for employee wellness. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fitness Management from West Chester University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University. Armand is also certified through the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

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