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High Intensity Interval Training

Category : Exercise

How hard should you be working out?

That is a good question! Make the most of your time, don’t  zone out…instead, zone in on your intensity level.

At XO Fitness we use 4 Zones:

Zone 1: Easy Warm-up & Recovery

Zone 2: Challenging, but comfortable

Zone 3: Challenging, but uncomfortable

Zone 4: Breathless; not maximum, but winded

There are many ways to monitor your intensity level. This method was developed by Nautilus Institute. Recent research indicates that this method might actually be one of the most accurate ways to monitor intensity because it takes into account each person’s  individual differences in fitness, heart size and experience.

Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

5 minutes: Warm-up in Zone 1

5 minutes: Zone 2

10 minutes: Alternate one minute in Zone 1 and one minute in Zone 3. (Zone 4 if you have been training a while)

5 minutes: Cool-down in Zone 1

Challenge yourself with a High Intensity Interval Training workout twice each week. You will burn more calories and improve your endurance much more with High Intensity Interval Training than if you hang out in Zones 1 & 2 during your entire workout!

Low Impact/High Intensity Interval Training (modified for beginner/intermediate fitness enthusiasts)

     

High Impact/High Intensity Interval Training (for intermediate to experienced fitness enthusiasts)

 

Want more exercises like these? Contact Karin at XO Fitness karin@xofitness.com

   

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Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2015

Category : Exercise

Who knew we were so trendy? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has announced its annual fitness trend forecast based on survey responses from thousands of fitness professionals. The results were released in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015: What’s Driving the Market” published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®.

We were very pleased to read this list…XO Fitness has them all!

  1. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment.

Yes! We do body weight training…push-ups, planks, dips, TRX suspension exercises and more.

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

Yes! We can do this! Want to ramp it up a bit we’ll be glad to help!

  1. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. Given the large number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Yes! All of our trainers are certified.

  1. Strength Training. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.)

Yes! This is a main focus of the personal training we do at XO to maintain and/or increase strength.

  1. Personal Training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers has become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.

Yes! All of our trainers are certified and maintain their certifications with continuing education.

  1. Exercise and Weight Loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and nutrition education for better weight control in their clients.

Yes! Besides offering personal training we offer our SMART Loss program to help clients improve their nutrition and lose weight.

 
  1. Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation.

Yes! We offer yoga twice each week.

  1. Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.

Yes! We train older adults…many of our clients are 60+

  1. Functional Fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.

Yes! We work with many older clients to improve their balance and increase their strength.

  1. Group Personal Training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering more group training options. Training two or three people at a time makes economic sense for the trainer and the clients.

Yes! We offer partner training anytime small groups (up to 8 clients).

Comments Off on Foam Roller exercises for desk workers

Foam Roller exercises for desk workers

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two foam roller exercises for desk workers!
 
That’s the purpose of our exercise blog…to introduce new and fun exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment because we know you can’t always get to the gym! We have foam rollers in stock. You can take one home for $35!
 
Exercise #1: Foam roll your quads and cobra stretch
 
Start lying face down; propped upon you elbows with the foam roller under you thighs. Use your arms to pull and push your body back and forth so that the roller rolls the length of your upper leg from just above your knee cap to the very top of your thighs. After rolling 5-10 times try the cobra stretch by placing your hands directly below your shoulders and straighten your elbows. Your upper thighs should be supported by the roller. This is a great stretch for your low back.
 
Exercise #2: Chest Fly and stretch
 
Start by lying lengthwise on the foam roller facing the ceiling. Hold a hand weight in your right hand and perform a single arm chest fly ten times. Repeat on the left side. This will strengthen your chest and core. Finish with a chest stretch by continuing to lie on the foam roller with your arms straight out to the sides forming a “T”. Let the backs of your hands rest on the floor and relax.
 
 
 

Do you want to learn more exercises like these? Contact us at info@xofitness.com

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Foam roller exercises to strengthen your core

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two foam roller exercises to strengthen your core.
 
That’s the purpose of our exercise blog…to introduce new and fun exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment because we know you can’t always get to the gym! We have foam rollers in stock. You can take one home for $35!
 
Exercise #1: Supine Heel Taps
 
Start by lying on your back with your spine and head supported by the foam roller. Use your hands for balance on the floor and carefully lift both of you feet off of the floor so that your knees are directly above your hips and you have a right angle at your hip and knee. Once you feel stable in this position hinge from them hip slowly lowering one leg back down to the floor. Your knee should stay bent at a 90 degree angle. Tap the floor with your heel and then lift that leg up to the 90/90 position. Keep your abdominal muscles braced throughout  this exercise and don’t let your pelvis tip when you move your leg. Alternate lowering legs to tap heels 5-10 times per leg.
 
Exercise #2: Supine Leg Extensions
 
Start by lying on your back with your spine and head supported by the foam roller. Use your hands for balance on the floor and carefully lift both of you feet off of the floor so that your knees are directly above your hips and you have a right angle at your hip and knee. Now, maintaining a 90-100 degree angle at your hip straighten both legs slowly until they are as straight as you can get them. If you are really tight in your hamstrings you might not be able to do this with your hips at 90 degrees…it’s ok to increase the angle slightly so that you can straighten your legs. Be sure to keep abdominal muscles braced and spine in a neutral position throughout this exercise. Repeat 10-15 times.
Do you want to learn more core strengthening exercises like these? Contact info@xofitness.com

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Foam Roller Planks

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two foam roller planks you can do to strengthen your core.
 
That’s the purpose of our exercise blog…to introduce new and fun exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment because we know you can’t always get to the gym!
 
Exercise #1: Elbow Plank on foam roller
 
Start kneeling on the floor with your foam roller in front of you. Place your elbows onto the foam roller and step your feet back so that you are in a plank position. Focus on keeping your abdominal muscles braced, your spine in neutral and your shoulder blades pulled down and together. Hold this position for 10 seconds; rest & repeat up to 10 times.
 
Make it more challenging: Lift one foot of the floor as shown
 
Exercise #2: Upward facing Plank on foam roller
 
Start sitting on the floor with your foam roller behind you. Lean back on it so that it is across your shoulder blades. Cradle your head in your hands so that you don’t strain your neck muscles. Straighten your legs and then lift your butt off the floor so that you are in a straight line from your heels to your head. Hold this position for 10 seconds; rest & repeat 5-10 times.
Do you want to learn more exercises like these? Contact us! info@xofitness.com

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Plank Variations

Category : Exercise

Here are some fun plank variations you can do with paper plates! Always keep your abdominal muscles braced. If you feel in strain in your back be sure to rest before proceeding to the next exercise.
 
Starting position for all planks is a push-up plank position with your toes on the plates. Your toes must always maintain contact with the plates. Some surfaces will work better than others for sliding the plates, so if you are having trouble try a smooth floor or very low pile carpet. 
 
Plank #1: Mountain Climbers
Draw right knee in toward right elbow, then slide back out to starting position. Repeat with left knee to left elbow. Try these slow at first and then you can speed them up if you wish. Do 10 slow or 30 seconds fast.
 
Plank #2: Frog
Draw both knees in toward your elbows at the same time bringing knees outside your elbows; then slide back out to starting position. Keep your hips low for this plank. Repeat 5-10 times with good form.
 
Plank #3: Pike
Keep legs straight as you pull your feet forward and your hips up into an inverted V position. Slide back to plank position being careful not to drop hips too low causing your back to arch. Repeat 5-10 times.
 
Plank #4: Cross-unders
Draw right knee toward left elbow and then slide leg out straight to left side so that it crossed under you. Then pull knee back in and slide foot back to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 3-5 times with good form.
 
Do you want more fun core exercises? Scroll down or contact us! info@xofitness.com

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Exercises to improve Strength and Balance

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two exercises to improve strength and balance. Specifically biceps and shoulders. All you need is a couple of hand weights!
 
That’s the purpose of our exercise blog…to introduce new and fun exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment because we know you can’t always get to the gym!
 
Exercise #1: Bicep Curl with Single Leg Balance
Begin in standing position with hand weights in each hand. Balance on one foot and bend elbows bringing weights up to shoulders. If you have trouble balancing on one foot you can touch your foot to the floor to maintain your balance. Choose a weight that makes it challenging to complete the entire set. Repeat 10x on each foot.
 
Exercise #2: Front Raise with Step Back
Begin standing with feet hip width apart holding one hand weight with both hands. Simultaneously lift weight (with arms relatively straight) until weight is above your head and step back with one foot shifting some of your weight to the back foot and pressing your heel all the way to the floor. Then lower the weight slowly and bring your foot back to starting position. Repeat stepping back with the opposite foot. Choose a weight that you can manage with out struggling or arching your back. Repeat 10-20 times with good form.
 
Want to learn more exercises like these? Scroll down or contact us at info@xofitness.com

Comments Off on Strengthen Shoulder and Core Muscles

Strengthen Shoulder and Core Muscles

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen shoulder and core muscles.
 
That’s the purpose of our exercise blog…to introduce new and fun exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment because we know you can’t always get to the gym!
 
Exercise #1: Half-kneeling Lateral Shoulder Lift
Begin in a half-kneeling position holding hand weight at your side (same side as the knee that is down). Lift weight out to side with a relatively straight arm. Only lift weight to about shoulder height. Maintain a neutral spine throughout exercise-do not lean to the side when lifting….if you do lean then you should try a lighter weight. This exercise will strengthen your medial deltoid (shoulder) and core stabilizing muscles. Repeat up to 10x with good form on each side.
 
Exercise #2: Half-kneeling Diagonal Twist
Begin in half-kneeling position holding hand weight with both hands. Twist through your torso and lift the weight up (to the side where your knee is down) and then bring the weight down and across your body on a diagonal so that it crosses over to your hip (on the side where your leg is forward). While performing this exercise you should twist, but not bend your torso/spine. This exercise will strengthen your obliques and shoulders. Repeat 10x on each side 
 
Learn more exercises like these! Scroll down or contact us: info@xofitness.com

Comments Off on Strengthen Upper Body and Core Muscles

Strengthen Upper Body and Core Muscles

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen upper body and core muscles.
 
That’s the purpose of our exercise blog…to introduce new and fun exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment because we know you can’t always get to the gym!
 
Exercise #1: Push-up with Rotation
Begin in a push-up position (on knees or toes) holding light hand weights. Your body should be in a plank position from shoulders to knees (or feet). Perform on push-up then lift one weight and rotate your body to a side plank position. Bring weight to your shoulder and then straighten your elbow and reach toward ceiling. Hold side plank for a moment and then lower weight to your shoulder and return to starting position. Repeat on the other side…continue alternating arms until you complete 10 times (5 to each side)
 
More Challenge: Do push-ups on your toes instead of your knees.
 
Exercise #2: Tricep Kickback with Hip Extension
Begin on hands & knees holding light hand weights. Bring one elbow up beside your rib cage or slightly higher and then extend (straighten) your elbow. Your elbow should remain locked in at your side throughout the exercise so the ONLY joint that is moving is your elbow (bending and straightening).
 
More Challenge: Make this into a full-body exercise by extending your your opposite leg straight back simultaneously with your arm extension. Adding the leg movement will strengthen your core and glutes.
 
 
Do you want to learn more hand weight exercises to strengthen your upper body and core muscles?
Contact us at info@xofitness.com

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Pumpkin Workout

Category : Exercise

The Pumpkin Workout is designed to help you burn off any extra calories you happen to eat on Halloween.
 
Grab a pumpkin and let’s get going!
 
Exercise #1: Pumpkin swings
 
Exercise #2: Step back lunge with a pumpkin twist
 
Exercise #3: Side-to-side lunge with a pumpkin curl
 
Exercise #4: Sumo squat with pumpkin up & over
 
Every time your eat a piece of candy do this workout & have fun!
 
P.S. The pumpkin I used for this video weighed 7 1/2 pounds and it was plenty heavy. If you can’t find a pumpkin that’s the right weight for you it’s OK to use a med ball or a hand weight instead.