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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

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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

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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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Stability Ball Exercises Part 4

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two stability ball exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen your core and inner thigh.
 
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: Stability Ball Inner Thigh Squeeze
Begin lying on your back and pick up the ball between your ankles. you legs should be as perpendicular to the floor as possible with knees just slightly bent. Squeeze the ball tightly between your ankles and hold the contraction for a count of five. Then relax, but don’t drop the ball. Repeat 5-10 times.
 
Exercise #2: Stability Ball Reach Over
Begin lying on your back holding the ball between your hands with the ball directly above your face. Then slowly reach overhead hinging from the shoulder and lower the ball to the floor. To make this an effective core exercise, take care not to allow your back to arch or your ribs to pop up when your reach. Exhale as you reach over this will help you to engage your core (especially your transverse abdominis)
 
 
Do you want to learn more stability ball exercises? Contact us! info@xofitness.com

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Stability Ball Exercises Part 3

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two stability ball exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen your core, glutes and hamstrings.
 
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: Bridge with feet on ball
Begin lying on back with feet resting on ball. Lift your body off of the mat so you are in a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold for 5-10 counts; lower down and repeat.
 
More Challenge: Lift your hands off the floor so that your core has to work harder to stabilize you. Add waving your hands in the air to make it even more difficult.
 
Exercise #2: Leg Curl
Begin lying on back with feet resting on ball. Lift your body off of the mat so you are in a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.  Bend knees rolling ball toward you; then straighten legs rolling the ball away. You may need to return to the floor after every rep when you first start. Build up to 5 at a time and eventually to 10 in a row.
 
More Challenge: Make it a single leg curl…lift one foot off the ball!
Want more exercises like these? Contact us! info@xofitness.com
 

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Stability Ball Exercises Part 2

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two stability ball exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen your core, glutes and balance.
 
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: Seated Single Leg Balance
Begin in a seated position. Sit tall with shoulders directly over hips and spine in neutral. DO NOT let your hips tuck under into a pelvic tilt. Lift one foot from floor and hold it there while you count to five (or ten). Switch feet. Repeat five times with each leg.
 
Exercise #2: Bridge
Begin in a seated position and then walk your feet away from the ball until your head and shoulders are resting on the ball as shown on video. Feet should be about hip distance apart. Shoulders, hips and knees should be in one straight line. Next, lower hips toward the floor 6-8 inches and squeeze glutes to lift back up into a straight bridge. The ball should remain stationary. Repeat 15x
 
More Challenge: Hold hand weight resting on your upper leg while you perform this exercise.
 
Want to learn more stability ball and core exercises? Contact us! info@xofitness.com

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Stability Ball Exercises Part 1

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two stability ball exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen your lower back and glutes.
 
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: Back Extension
Position yourself with your belly on the ball and your toes on the floor so you are balanced by three points: your toes (1 & 2) and the ball (3).
Lift your upper body away from the ball slightly arching your back. This is great for strengthening your lower back. Repeat 10x 
 
For more challenge: Try holding your arms out to the sides or extending them even further forward.
 
Exercise #2: Dolphin
Again, position yourself with your belly on the ball, but move your weight further forward over the top of the ball so that your hands are supporting some of your weight and your feet are not helping you balance. Your three balance points will be your hands (1 & 2) and the ball.
With your feet together, lift legs up until your body is in a straight line (or a little higher if you can) do this slowly without momentum. You’ll feel this in your glutes, low back and even inner thigh. Repeat 10x
 
Want to learn more exercises like these and train with a personal trainer? Contact us! info@xofitness.com

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Balance and core strength

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two exercises you can do anytime, anywhere for improved balance and core strength. 
 
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: Figure 8 with hands
Balance on one foot and clasp your hand together with arms extended in front of you. Draw a figure 8 which is lying on its side as shown in the video.
Repeat 10x while balancing on each foot
 
For more challenge: Hold a small hand-weight while drawing your figure 8 
 
Exercise #2: Figure 8 with toe
Balance on one foot and extend your other leg straight out in front of you with your toe at about knee height. Draw a figure 8 (again, lying on its side) with your toe. Place your hands on your hips and concentrate on keeping your hips motionless while doing this exercise.
 
Do you want to learn more core and balance exercises like these? Contact us info@xofitness.com
 

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Core and Upper Body Strength

Category : Exercise

Two for You!

Here are two exercises you can do anytime, anywhere for core and upper body strength. 
 
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: Alternating Reverse Fly
Start on hands & knees with hands on dumbbells. With elbow slightly bent, lift one arm out to side until it is parallel to the floor then lower the weight slowly to the floor and repeat with the other arm. Be sure to keep your shoulders square to the floor and abdominal muscles braced as you lift and lower the weight. Repeat 10x per arm alternating
 
For more challenge: Extend opposite leg straight out behind you as you lift the weight so that you are balanced on one hand and one knee.
 
Exercise #2: Alternating Chest Fly
Start lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor and hold the weights straight up above your shoulders.  With elbow slightly bent, slowly lower one weight out to the side until your elbow touches the floor…then lift back up to starting position and repeat with the other arm. Repeat 10x per arm alternating
 
For more challenge: Lift feet off of floor…hold legs up with knees & hips at right angles.
Want to learn more core exercises like these? Contact us! info@xofitness.com