Summer is on the way and many of us are thinking about getting rid of all those layers of clothing and eagerly soaking up some vitamin D in the weeks to come. Less clothing also means more exposure and we want to ensure that our bodies look right and tight.
Starting this week, MTT-Fit is having the 'Hit The Floor' challenge, a seven (7) day long challenge to help jump start your fitness and get your core ready for the season. This challenge is easy to follow and each daily video will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Each day will consist of three exercises that you will need to perform for 1 min each, one after the other. You may only rest at the end of all three. After the rest period (which should only be about 1-2 mins), you can begin again from the first exercise and work your way through all three again. This will be repeated in order to complete 3 sets.
Will you be able to work your core for all 7 days?
Check the video below for Day 1 of the challenge. Let me know how it goes for you. Be sure to comment, like and share:
If your workouts need a little twist, try adding a Tabata circuit to your routine. It will help to improve your cardiovascular fitness, it's fast- if you're short on time and easy to do, as long as you have a stop watch or timer.
Check out this Fantasie Fitness Youtube video below for an Introductory Tabata Routine. Feel free to try it out as well. Enjoy!!
The beautiful thing about Push Ups is that you can perform them anywhere and they do not require any additional equipment. Push ups are a great body weight exercise used for firming and toning, and once you have mastered the standard push up (on a flat surface; from the toes), it's time to take your push ups to the next level and challenge your body.
Regular push ups train mainly your chest, biceps, triceps, abs and back. Switching to the declined push up will put greater emphasis on the upper region of your pectorals (chest) and your anterior deltoids (the front of your shoulders). It is always important to challenge your body continuously if you are looking for better results from your exercise program. Adding the declined push up can help to get you over a plateau, or push you to the next level of fitness.
Start by getting into the standard push up position with hands, wider than shoulders, placed on the floor, abs pulled in tightly and body in a plank position from your toes. With a bench or step close to your feet lift one leg and then the other until both feet are resting comfortably on top of the step or bench. Slowly bend at the elbows and lower your chest to the floor, like in a regular push up and as you exhale slowly push back to the starting position, arms extended. Aim for 10 - 12 reps, 2 to 4 sets(be sure to add more reps if you are able).
This is a fantastic exercise for total body fitness. Enjoy!!
Lunges are an excellent exercise for toning your thighs and glutes, but in order to add more bang for your buck and conserve time in the gym, try this complex exercise that incorporates the upper body (shoulders,triceps) as well.
Start off by raising the weights and holding them securely over your elbows, palms facing forward, in a proper shoulder press position. Lifting the right leg, take a big step backward, bending at the knee and allowing the right knee to drop down towards the ground (do not allow it to touch the ground however). Step back far enough to ensure that you form a 90 degree angle bend at both knees. Coming back to a standing position, not allowing the right foot to touch the ground but lifting the right knee in line with your waist. At the same time, press the weights upward into a shoulder press. Hold for 2 counts, then release. Do this for 12 - 15 repetitions then switch to the other side.
Hope you love this move as much as I did!! Enjoy!
You’ve done the Plank and master it, and now looking for a way to make it harder and more interesting. Try the Plank with One Arm Row. This exercise will work your total core, and upper back.
Start in the plank position with hands on the ground, holding onto a set of free weights. Ensure that your abs are pulled in and firmed; head, neck and spine are in line. Without moving your body (as much as possible), lift one weight up towards the side of the body brushing the elbows close to your side. Bring the weight down towards the ground but do not allow them to rest completely on the ground. Repeat.
Do about 12 – 15 reps with one arm then switch to the other side. Make sure to watch your form. Do not allow your hips to drop down, forming a slight arch in your back.
Add this exercise to your abdominal routine and let me know how you do. Enjoy!!
You’re looking for something fun and interesting to do, that will keep you active and in shape. You don’t necessarily want to hit the weight room, in fact, it’s not really your thing or you just want to take a break from it for a while. So, what are your options?
One option can be joining a local dance class in your area. You may not know the science or technical language behind every move but one thing’s for sure, you will be active, having fun and staying fit. Look for a dance class that speaks to you, and that you will find enjoyable.
Salsa dancing is a fabulous alternative. Participating in a Salsa class is a great way to meet new people and socialize. We sometimes end up in the weight room or on the cardio machines by ourselves during a workout, but with Salsa you will always have a partner or group of people to mingle with. Salsa is an exciting, sexy and extremely enjoyable way to increase your social circle.
Salsa is a Latin dance form with Cuban Son and Afro-Cuban decent (especially the ramba). The sound and upbeat lure of salsa music is famous for getting people energized and moving. Salsa music is known to get people up, onto their feet and moving regardless of background, color or ability. Salsa is a celebration of life and you don’t have to be of Latin American or Cuban lineage to enjoy the swing of the instrumentals that will eventually make its way to your hips.
Taking part in a Salsa class also comes with added benefits: increased flexibility, an increased sense of well being, an increase in your level of confidence, an increase in strength, an increase in cardiovascular endurance and an increase in core strength and awareness.
So don’t hesitate, try a little Salsa today.
If you live in the Toronto/Pickering area, our friends at The Love of Salsa provide a great atmosphere for you to learn, experience and enjoy the vibrancy of this dance form. Visit them at 677 Marksbury Rd, Pickering, Ontario, and click the link to check out their website at www.loveofsalsa.com for more information about their class times and packages.
In the mean time, enjoy the video below. Just a taste of what is to come in your Salsa class. The music will get you moving whether you like it or not, so get the full experience and join a class today.
The lower abdominal region is often an area of frustration for most ladies. It can be the last area to be reduced when on an exercise program. Try incorporating Stability Ball Pull Ins into your routine to aid you in getting a firm and trim lower ab region. This compound exercise will also challenge upper body strength and challenge your cardiovascular fitness.
Start in a push-up position (with your hands on the floor, shoulder distance apart) and place your lower shins on top of the exercise/stability ball. While keeping your back completely straight, pull your knees in towards your chest, allowing the ball to roll forward under your ankles. Squeeze your abs and then straighten your legs, rolling the ball back to the starting position.
Note: Be sure not to allow your bum to lift too far up. Try to keep your upper body as leveled as possible.
Looking for an exercise to tone and lift your behind regions. Donkey Kicks are your answer. This exercise specifically focuses on your glutes, and can be done easily with or without added weight.
Get into a table top position (kneel on the floor or mat, bending at the waist with the palms of your hands placed on the floor, shoulder width apart). Your head should be focused forward, your back flat (try as much as possible not to arch). -This is your starting position.
Lift your right leg, until your hamstrings are in line with your back, still maintaining the 90 degree angle bend at the knee. Squeeze your bottom. Hold the contraction for 2 counts (aka 2 secs).
Slowly lower your knee back to the starting position, however, do not let your knee touch the ground. This is one repetition. Continue lifting and lowering your right leg in this manner for 15 to 20 reps.
Switch legs and do the same with the left leg, squeezing the left glute muscle each time.
Remember to control every movement.
Note: It is important to keep your abdominals pulled in throughout this exercise as well. This will ensure that you keep from arching or rounding out your back. Two
ways to increase intensity is to added ankle weights and increase the hold time at the top of your squeeze.
Looking for an exercise to help tone your glutes and abductor muscles? Try Lying Side Leg Raises on a mat. These are great for beginners. The intensity can also be increased, for intermediate exercisers, by adding ankle weights to the movement.
Lie on your side forming a straight line upwards from your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears.
Then, move your legs very slightly in front of you, so that you are in a minor curved shape. This curve will help with balance throughout the exercise, and it also protects the lower back.
You can prop your head up on your hand, or stretch the bottom arm out long and lay your head down. If you choose to prop your head up, you must support your alignment by lifting your rib cage slightly, away from the mat.
Make sure that your abdominals are activated and pulled in. Using the abs for strength and stability is key during this exercise.
From this position, lift your leg upwards, leading with your heel. Make sure to stop when your leg is at a 45 degree angle at your hips. Slowly lower your leg, hovering closely to the leg on the mat but not touching. Lift the leg again. Do this for 20 reps.
Then turn over to the other side and repeat with the other leg.
Note: It is important that you prevent your body from rocking while doing this exercise. Keeping your abdominals tight will prevent this from occurring.
Increase the challenge by pausing at the top of your lift for 2-5 secs.
This exercise is great for toning the back portion of the arms (it can also be used in combination with other tricep exercises to double it's effectiveness- which we will go through later)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grasp a 10lb dumbbell (feel free to go heavier or lighter depending on your individual ability) by the inner plate or body, with both hands and raise it directly overhead. Keeping your elbows squeezed tight to your ears, lower the dumbbell behind your head by bending both elbows. Return to the start position and repeat. Aim for 12-15 reps.
Note: Be sure not to over arch your lower back while performing this exercise. If you are unable to prevent your lower back from arching, use a chair with a back rest for support (make sure, however, that the back rest is low enough so that it will not get in the way of your dumbbell)
In this section, you will find a collection of various exercises as well as tips and information on proper form.