Comments Off on Motivation in March

Motivation in March

Category : Exercise

January is a distant memory…what about your New Years Resolutions? If they’ve fallen by the wayside, don’t worry…it happens to the best of us. Do you need to get moving again? Here’s what to do:


Keep track on a chart

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with stickers or smiley faces. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout draw a smiley face (or give yourself a sticker) on the calendar. Everyday you do not workout draw a big red “X” on the day. That way you have a visual. More than two red X’s in a row and you will know you better get a move on! Any week you have more smiley faces than X’s reward yourself!


Schedule four workouts per week.

Take a few minutes each weekend to look ahead to the coming week and figure out which four days and times you will exercise. Scheduling four may seem like a lot, but consider the fact that “something will come up” on one of those days and you will have to cancel. In that case, at least you will get three workouts in. Consider that fourth workout as a “bonus” workout. If you complete it reward yourself!


Find an exercise buddy.

Exercising with a friend is more fun. It also makes it harder to cancel your workout because you have someone to answer to. You may even want to wager a friendly bet: Anytime you or your friend skips a planned workout the one who cancels has to put $5 into the jar. At the end of the month the person with the best track record gets all the money in the jar.


Register for an event.

Starting in April the calendar is literally exploding with opportunities to participate in everything from a 5K walk/run to an Ironman Triathlon. Pick an event which will be challenging, but not ridiculously so. Check out Having an event out there on the horizon you know you will have to stick to your workout in order to be ready in time. Many event websites post a workout schedule which you can follow; if not, a personal trainer can help you organize your workouts so you will be prepared for your event.


Try something new.

Perhaps you are tired of the same old, same old. Try a new activity, get some new workout clothes or shoes, buy some new music or a new exercise DVD. A small monetary investment may be all you need to get yourself moving again. Wouldn’t you feel guilty if you let those new shoes just sit there collecting dust?


Remember, Spring is just around the corner and you want to be in great shape by then! Pick one of these ideas and give it a whirl. Let me know which one you try and how it is working for you I would love to hear from you!


Karin Jennings is a certified personal trainer and co-owner of XO Fitness, LLC in De Pere.

Comments Off on Stretches for Cyclists

Stretches for Cyclists

Category : Exercise

We wanted to share some of the best stretches for cyclists with you because it is officially Bike to Work Week! Be sure that when you finish your ride you take the time to work on your flexibility. Stretch your hip flexors, quadriceps, low back, and chest so that your overall posture won’t be affected.   Hold all stretches for at least 5 seconds (on the video the stretches aren’t held for the entire length of time just to keep it short and to the point).  

Check out our video to see what you can do to get those muscles stretched out after your workout!


If you are interested in more stretches that you can do after cycling contact us at info@xofitness.comHope to see you out and about! Happy riding!

Comments Off on >March Moves of the Month

>March Moves of the Month

Category : Exercise

>Spending too much time at your desk is tough on your body…

Here are some of my favorite stretches! Please share these with all your co-workers!!!

Chest Stretch
Clasp your hands; inhale and reach up as high as you can, then exhale lowering hands behind head; inhale and exhale reaching elbows out toward opposite walls.

Torso Twist

Sit tall; reach hand across to outside of opposite knee; reach arm around back of chair if possible and look over back shoulder. Inhale reaching the top of your head up to the ceiling, exhale and twist one more inch, inhale again and then as you exhale release the twist and face forward. Repeat on other side.

Lat Stretch

No, I’m not beating my head on the desk! Instead, place your hands on the edge of your desk and roll your chair back away from your desk. Keep your back straight; and sink your torso toward the floor pressing your hips away from your desk.

Comments Off on Best Shoulder Exercises

Best Shoulder Exercises

Category : Exercise

Welcome to Part 3 in our Awesome  Arm series…


Today’s topic: The Best Shoulder Exercise

In 2014, the American Council on Exercise studied the 10 most common shoulder exercises to determine the best shoulder exercise. See ACE study. The answer was that there is not ONE best shoulder exercise because the shoulder is a complicated joint with many attachments. This study analysed the deltoid which is the most visible shoulder muscle. It has three distinct parts: anterior, medial and posterior. Although there is some cross-over each of these is trained with different strength training exercise. Doing just one of the exercises listed below would not not be sufficient on a regular basis….be sure to train your whole shoulder!

diagram of deltoid muscle


The three best exercises for shoulders recommended by ACE fitness include

1) Rear Lateral Raise (reverse fly) for posterior deltoid

2) Bent Arm Lateral Raise for medial deltoid (the 45-degree incline row was suggested, however most of us don’t have an incline bench at home to work with. This exercise was a close 2nd)

3) Shoulder Press for anterior deltoid


Want to learn more? Contact us at

Comments Off on Training Your Triceps

Training Your Triceps

Category : Exercise

Welcome to Part 2 in our Awesome  Arm series…


Today’s topic: Training Your Triceps

Recently, ACE Fitness conducted a research study to discover which exercises were the most effective in training your triceps. Read all about it! Here are the top 3 exercises you should be doing:
  1. Triangle Pushups
  2. Tricep Dips
  3. Tricep Kickbacks

Want to learn more exercises for awesome arms? Contact us at today!

Comments Off on Building Better Biceps Workout

Building Better Biceps Workout

Category : Exercise

Welcome to Part 1 in our Awesome  Arm series…

Let’s start with building better biceps workout.

When you notice someone’s arms and say WOW it’s usually the bicep muscle that’s got your attention. Whether you’re wishing for arms like Madonna or Clay Matthews it’s going to take a lot of work!

Two things to keep in mind:

1) You need to be very lean in order for your muscle definition to show the way it does on some of these icons of sports and fitness. 2) Also, how much your bicep “pops” has to do with the length of the tendon which attaches it to your arm. Contract your bicep muscle and use your other hand to “measure” the distance between the crook in your elbow and where the muscle bulges. Some people can fit only one or two finger widths in that space while other people can fit 4 fingers easily. The longer the tendon the shorter and bunchier the muscle will be, so if your tendon is long it will be easier for you to get this muscle to “look big”.

OK, now let’s get started building better biceps!

  Recently, ACE Fitness conducted a research study which found that the Concentration Curl is the best exercise eliciting significantly higher muscle activation of the biceps than any other exercise tested. That being said, it isn’t the ONLY exercise you should do because it is not extremely functional. Standing while performing bicep curls is much more functional because it will cause you to engage other muscles including your core which means it will better prepare you for daily activities. You should also perform hammer curls which work the brachialis–the muscle that runs along the outside of your upper arm–which helps add a more full, shapely look to the arms. Another bicep curl variation we use at XO Fitness is a circular bicep curl which can be a little tricky to learn, but I like these because you also engage your upper back when you rotate the hands to face forward.

Build better biceps with concentration curls, hammer curls and circular bicep curls…for best results be sure to do each of these exercises until you completely fatigue the muscle (don’t just stop at 10 reps). If you can do more than 15 reps try a heavier weight next time!!


Like these exercises? Want to learn more?

Contact us to start personal training today!


Comments Off on High Intensity Interval Training

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


Comments Off on Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2015

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

Comments Off on Foam roller exercises to strengthen your core

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