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Fitness Tip: Walking Squat Variations

Squats are a great way to strengthen the quadriceps, the hamstrings and gluteal muscles – the powerhouse muscles of the body. By strengthening these muscles we increase our overall muscle mass and therefore increase our metabolism as our body burns through calories to maintain our muscle.

If we take that squat and add movement patterns we can intensify our cardiovascular and core workout.

Begin by hinging the hips back as if you’re sitting down in a chair. Then keeping the knees bent as you walk leading with the heel and rolling onto the toe as you move forward. Then reverse it leading with the toe and rolling off the heel. You can also add a pivot to the walking squat assuming that the surface and your shoe are able to move freely without sticking.

Another variation is a lateral walking squat which will strengthen the abductors (outer hips) and adductors (inner thighs) as well. You can as add a thera-band to intensify the difficulty and effectiveness of this move.
Keep in mind that anytime you can drop that squat lower than 90 degrees you’ll get a more effective glute workout so it’s important to work on both lowering your squat as well as adding movement patterns to make your squat workouts more effective.

Fitness Tip: Center Woodchopper

Enjoy full body strength and core stabilization with the Center Woodchopper.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding the grip of the dumbbell overhead in both hands. Next, keeping your back straight and chest up, sit the hips back as you squat down, swinging the dumbbell towards the ground and between your feet. Then push with your heels into the ground as you propel your body up and swing the dumbbell overhead to your starting position.

Fitness Tip: Warrior Crunch

Strengthen the core and engage the obliques while working the lower body in the Warrior Crunch.

 

Begin by standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, and toes turned outward. Place the finger tips behind the ears, keeping the back upright and the arms and chest open. Then lower down into a squat until the thighs are parallel to the ground.  Once in this position, crunch side to side, bringing the elbows to the tops of the thighs, engaging the obliques.

Spicy Chicken Wrap from Ellipse

Spicy Chicken Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 4 multigrain wraps
  • 2 cups chopped roasted chicken breast
  • 1 cup thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1 cup sliced green onions (about 7)

Preparation:

1. Combine yogurt and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl.

2. Spread mixture evenly over half of each wrap.

3. Top yogurt mixture evenly with chicken and remaining ingredients.

4. Roll up and secure ends with wooden picks, if desired.  Yield 4 servings (1 wrap)

Nutritional  Information:  Each serving: 289 calories, 10.1g. fat (1.5g saturated), 32g protein, 24g carbs, 10g fiber, 887mg sodium, 65mg cholesterol, 3mg Iron, 63mg Calcium

 

Honey-Peanut Butter Protein Energy Bites

This recipe is extremely popular with our members and we thought you’d enjoy it too!

Honey-Peanut Butter Protein Energy Bites

2 c old fashioned oats
2 scoop whey protein powder
1/2 c honey
2TBS peanut butter

In medium bowl, toss together ingredients and stir well. Put bowl in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Roll into balls. Place 2-3 balls in sandwich baggies and store in fridge to use as a snack or to satisfy sweet tooth. They will last for 5 days.

130 calories, 3g fat, 10g carbs, 10g protein.

Fitness Tip: Preacher Curl with Isometric Wall Sit

Super charge your workout by combining an upper body preacher curl with a lower body isometric wall sit.

Begin by sitting against a wall with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your torso tilted forward at the hips. Then holding a dumbbell in each, extend the arms so that the elbows are touching the thighs just before the knees.
Now super charge your workout by alternating between a supine curl, a hammer curl and a pronated grip curl to cross train the heads of the bicep while working the low body simultaneously.

Fitness Tip: Dumbbell 2 Arm Skull Crusher

The triceps brachii is Latin for “three-headed arm muscle”. It’s an extensor muscle that joins together at the elbow and is an antagonist of the biceps and brachialis muscles. The triceps cover about 2/3rd of our arm and are primarily used for pushing.

One of our favorite strength exercises to isolate the triceps is the 2 arm Skull Crusher.

1. Lie prone (on your back) holding 2 dumbbells in a neutral grip with palms facing each other, above your chest.
2. Keeping the arms parallel, hinge at the elbows, as you lower the forearms and bring the dumbbells even with your ears. Then return to your starting position and repeat.

Fitness Tip: Triceps Kickback

The tricep kickback strengthens the triceps brachii, which is a three-headed arm muscle that joins together at the elbow. The triceps brachii is both an extensor and an antagonist of the biceps.

To strengthen the L. tricep, step forward with the R. foot and hinge forward slightly at the hips. Keep your back straight and weight supported either with forearm to thigh, or hand to thigh.

Begin with the dumbbell at the L. hip with the L. upper arm parallel to the floor. There should be a triangle of space created by the angle of the left elbow.

Next, extend the arm parallel to the floor, contracting the triceps, then return to your starting position.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of this move, avoid dropping your elbow or gaining momentum by swinging the dumbbell.

Fitness Tip: TRX Hip Dip and Oblique Twist

Planks are an awesome exercise for core, hip and shoulder strength and stability and a plank on the TRX will be even more challenging and effective for the core as it works to stabilize the body.

Begin by adjusting your TRX to mid calf length.

Then put your toes in the straps and roll sideways onto one forearm. Be sure to keep the elbow directly under the shoulder to protect the shoulder and the top foot should be in the forward position.

Begin the hip dip by dropping the hip to the floor and back up. Then thread the top arm under the body to twist the body and work the obliques. Alternate between the hip dip and the oblique twist for maximum core stability and strength.

Be sure to repeat an equal number of reps on the opposite side to keep the body balanced in both strength and stability.

 

Fitness Tip: Kettlebell Bottoms Up Reverse Lunge

Many sports such require overhead action such as throwing a ball, however many athletes struggle with the overhead postural stability that’s required to excel in their sport.

One of the most effective ways to train overhead postural stability is with an unstable overhead load such as the Kettlebell in the Bottoms Up Reverse Lunge.

1. Begin standing with feet hip width apart, holding the kettlebell by the horns in the bottoms up position.
2. Next straighten the elbows extending the arms overhead.
3. Once your arms and trunk are stabilized, alternate stepping back into a reverse lunge, pausing at the bottom before returning to your upright position.

To modify this move:
1. move to a stationary lunge
2. decrease the load

To intensify this move:
1. increase the pause time at the bottom of the lunge
2. simultaneously lunge while you overhead press the kettlebell
3. increase the load
4. move to a single arm position with the kettlebell