16 effective exercises to improve your upper body mobility, flexibility and strength.
List of exercises:
(1) Weighted Fold/Half Lift - strengthens low/mid back; stretches back muscles; bend your knees if you feel too much tension in your hamstrings, so it doesn't prevent you from doing a full fold; strengthening these muscle groups will alleviate low back pain
(2) Side to Side Circles Fold - strengthens low/mid back & core
(3) Crab Reaches - increases range of motion in thoracic spine, shoulders and wrists; strengthens shoulders and core
(4) Lateral Spinal Waves - strengthens core, increases spinal mobility
(5) Ostrich Walk - strengthens low/mid back, stretches low back and hamstrings, make sure to relax your neck and upper body
(6) Clock Dial Child Pose - upper/mid/low back & shoulder stretch, reach with your fingers for a deeper stretch
(7) Camel Pose 3 Variations - a) legs shoulder-width apart - stretches back and shoulders, b) feet wide - shoulder stretch not as intense, so you can have a deeper back/spinal stretch, c) spinal twists
(8) Knee Swivel - loosens the low back muscles, will help relieve low back pain
(9) Tail Wag - loosens the low back muscles, will help relieve low back pain
(10) Beginner's Plow Pose - knees bent to relieve some tension in the hamstrings for a deeper back/neck stretch
(11) Weighted Thoracic Extension on BOSU Ball - increases range of motion in the shoulders and thoracic spine
(12) Pretzel - T-spine twist to improve spinal mobility and glute stretch
(13) Forearm Stand Walk-up - shoulder, back and core strength
(14) Weighted Crab Flips - strengthens core, improves shoulder and wrist mobility
(15) Witch's Brew - strengthens chest, shoulders, and arms
(16) Crab Rocks - improves shoulder and wrist mobility
In this MMA basics series, we'll go over proper fighting stance and striking techniques. We'll cover jab, cross, hook and upper cut, as well as the right way to make a fist for striking to prevent injury.
Remember to bring plenty of water and have a good warm-up and cool-down. Don't skip the stretching! You are going to be sore after this one, so read our past article on DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) and recovery. The most important thing is have fun and go at your own speed & intensity. There are a lot of people working out at Red Rocks and everyone is at their own level of fitness. Don't feel like you need to keep up with anybody. Focus on you and your body needs!
For those of you who have been to my Tuesday and Thursday classes, you know that core and lower body workouts are my love, my passion, and my specialty. I love working these muscle groups, and I am always on the lookout for diverse training methods, workouts, and protocols to challenge them.
Today I want to talk about offset load training as it relates to your core. Whether you are an athlete, avid powerlifter, play sports, or just looking to improve your everyday functional fitness, we all need a strong core. It’s the foundation for any movement. Offset loading is an incredibly effective way to further challenge your core and develop greater core stability and strength.
So what is it?
Offset loading simply means that you create uneven distribution of weight when lifting. For example, you can do offset deadlifts by loading one side of the bar with a 30lb-plate and the other with a 10lb-plate. This creates an imbalance that challenges your core to contract and protect your spine, in order to maintain proper upright position. You are forced to resist lateral flexion (bending sideways) and rotation throughout each movement, working all the spinal stabilizers and core musculature.
Offset loading is not meant to be a substitution for regular weightlifting but an effective tool to supplement your workouts and break through plateaus. To be effective, this training protocol can be done every other week or once every several weeks. The weight difference can vary from 25% to X2 or even X3, depending on the exercise. I recommend 3-6 reps per side with 3 sets total. In the offset deadlift example above, you would load the left side of the barbell with a heavier plate, do 3-6 reps, then switch the weights and proceed to do 3-6 more reps.
Besides doing wonders for your core, offset load training will improve your coordination, motor control, form, and technique, as you have to synchronize the movements of two different loads in a smooth controlled manner.
What exercises work best for offset load training?
You can do it with most dumbbell or barbell exercises. Examples include deadlifts, plyo step ups, farmer’s walk, overhead presses, lunges, chest presses, curls, shoulder raises, and much more.
When doing the exercises, make sure to brace your core! Happy lifting!
Your meal prep for the week should not take you more than an hour. Here is the video of how Isaac and I prep our meals every Sunday.
Overview and tips:
10lbs of chicken breasts
3 cups of uncooked rice
2.5 lbs of frozen vegetables
30 boiled eggs
2 cups dry oats
*We make 10 lunches to take to work. This week I’m cutting carbs, so my lunches don’t have grains, just proteins and veggies. Isaac needs more carbs than me, so just two of his lunches don’t have grains.
*We team-work our meal preps, so we are cooking everything at once, except veggies and chicken - we only have one 1-tier steamer.
*We sometimes use herbs and seasonings but never any sauces, dressings, or oils when cooking or storing the meals. Food stays fresh longer in the fridge. We add things to the food right before we eat it.
*5lbs of chicken breasts goes into work lunches and 5lbs goes to dinners. Dinners are quick and easy. Since chicken breasts and rice are already steamed when we get home in the evening, we spend 5 mins making dinner. For example, by sautéing rice and chicken in pasta sauce or taco sauce and throwing together a salad.
*1 cup of cooked rice goes to lunches (this week), the rest goes to dinners.
*We drink protein shakes either between meals or sometimes as meal substitutions. I like to have just a shake for breakfast, while Isaac eats oatmeal.
*Eggs are great for snacks or extra protein in meals or salads.
Wanted to write a quick blog post about the muscle soreness and what to do to help your body recover quicker 💪🔥
A lot of people who are starting a new exercise routine or rev up their existing routine experience the DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. It’s completely normal, can be quite intense, can feel as pain, tenderness or a burning sensation in the muscles, and usually sets in 24-72 hours after a workout.
For me, DOMS is an accomplishment. I pushed a particular muscle group to the point where it is forced to adapt, grow, and get stronger. After your body adapts to exercising regularly, you won’t feel that supreme soreness anymore, unless you significantly increase your resistance and intensity or work muscles that have not been worked in a while. So don’t judge the quality of your workout by how sore you feel the next day, but don’t shun or hate that sensation either. Feel victorious with the progress you are making!
🔥How can you help your body recover faster?🔥
😁 When you feel sore, think protein! After you effectively broke down your muscles at the gym, your body needs protein to grow and repair the muscle fibers making them bigger and stronger.
😁 Foam rolling, massage and/or stretching can help ease the pain and relax the muscles.
😁 Get 8 hours of quality sleep a night. Give your body a chance to repair, recharge, regrow, replenish energy stores, and adapt to the stress of exercise.
😁 Drink plenty of water. Hydrate or die! Water plays a significant role in the process of recovery - from helping digest vital nutrients to repairing muscles.
😁 Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, but some research shows they may also slow down the ability of the muscle to repair the damage. **Please consult your doctor before taking any medications for any reason.**
😁 Go back to the gym. Working the same muscles with less resistance have shown to help in the recovery.
💪🔥Happy recovery everyone!!🔥💪
As weeks pass since you finish the 6 Week Challenge or maybe even before successfully completing the program, you may find yourself slipping. If you don’t catch it early and don’t have the right mindset, you may do what you thought you never would again: go back to couch surfing and junk food binging. You may feel negative emotions like anger, frustration, or shame, may feel like you failed, or may go into denial and totally avoid facing the issue.
However, on the road to a healthy fit lifestyle, relapses happen, they are common, and they are not a catastrophe. It doesn’t have to cancel out all your hard work. Even minor bad habits are hard to break, so treat yourself with patience and kindness. When it comes to major behavioral changes, few people do it perfectly first time around. For most of us, it’s a process. By recognizing what can trigger the relapse, you can develop better techniques for anticipating and avoiding roadblocks. The key is planning, NOT willpower.
Here are five common triggers.
Everyone deals with stress differently. Some go to the gym, some veg out with a book or a TV marathon, some hit the sauce or open the fridge. In the past, when you had a bad day at work or got in a fight with a loved one, you may have resorted to food for solace (or alcohol, which – among other things – is high in calories, carbs and/or sugar, hinders weight loss , and increases appetite). Unless you learn healthy means of combatting stress, you will want to start binge- or pleasure-eating again when you feel the pressure.
As with everything, preparation is key. If you are going out to a restaurant with your friends, check out the menu and decide what you will order ahead of time. If you are going to a gathering at your friend’s house, bring a healthy dish or two. The host will appreciate it, and you will have something to default to, if no other healthy options are available. For some events, you may want to have a good hearty meal at home beforehand and skip eating there altogether.
Way too often we get overly concerned with what other people may think about our nutrition choices. The truth is people don’t care! They want to hang out with you because they like your company, not because you both like hotdogs and chips.
On a separate note, there will be some people who will mock your healthy lifestyle and brag about their own self-destructive habits and behaviors, wearing them as a badge of honor. Don’t give those jabs a second thought, for they have little to do with you and everything to do with that person. You see, as humans, we hate internal conflict. So if you know you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing, you have two choices: change it or continuously justify it. Every change comes with a pain of some sort and requires work, determination, commitment, courage, consistency, and discipline. Constant justification of poor decisions, actions and behaviors, on the other hand, does not have these requirements. Though in the long run, not having the courage to leave your “comfort” zone will cost you much more pain and suffering than a change ever would. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.” Thank you, Mr. Franklin, for pointing out that we are masters at justifying right about anything we do – whether it helps us or hurts us.
So don’t let these people bring you down. You are on the right track!
Whether it’s for work or pleasure, travel can throw off our healthy routines and make us vulnerable to relapses, both in nutrition and fitness. Instead of giving up and telling yourself you’ll pick things back up when you get home (which is more difficult than you think, if you completely fell off the wagon), make a specific action plan to get you through your next trip unscathed.
1) Research where you’re staying and what workout options you have. Do all this BEFORE the trip.
* When I used to have a gym membership, I would GoogleMap the closest gym to my hotel, know its hours of operation, and make a plan on what times I was going to work out.
* Many hotels have a swimming pool and a small gym with some equipment.
* YouTube is full of awesome no-equipment-needed HiiT workouts. Find and save 2-3 videos that you like, and make your own simple training program: days, times, and workout focus/video. It will take you literally 15-20 minutes, and will save you the headache.
2) Make eating a BIG priority. Always! You can’t out-train the spoon and fork.
* Pack some healthy snacks with you in your bag – apples and almonds are a great go-to.
* If at all possible, choose a hotel room with a small kitchen. Fridge and microwave are great! Stove is a big bonus.
* Before going out to eat, check out the restaurant online, look at the menu, and pre-order your meal in your mind. Stick to grilled and steamed options.
* Pick your battles! Make it a cheat meal, not a cheat day/s, and compensate by having a good cardio workout and eating extra clean on the days before and after.
3) Stay active!
* Go for a run around town. Enjoy a nice hike. Walk laps in the airport. Have a morning jog on the beach. Swim in the ocean. Just keep moving!
Life nowadays is incredibly hectic. And can I tell you a secret? No one has time for ANYTHING. “I can’t do XYZ, because I have no time” is a faulty mindset. We MAKE time for the things that matter to us, for what we desire most. Wake up an hour earlier for work and hit the gym, before your brain realizes what you’re doing and tries to come up with excuses why you shouldn’t! Spend 1 hour on a Sunday night to prep lunches and put them in containers for the whole week. In that same hour, you can throw some chicken breasts and fish in a food steamer, and you’ll have two healthy nutritious proteins ready to put in your dinners for the week.
Lack of support:
If your family and friends are not supporting, embracing and adopting your healthy lifestyle, you are more likely to fall back into your old ways. The solution is trade your family for a more health-conscious one. Just kidding! Having a strong social support network is paramount to our success. Join a gym that values community and provides encouragement & support, not just weights and exercise machines. Become active in online Facebook groups that focus on health, fitness and nutrition. Recruit a friend to go jogging or hiking with you. Enter in fun races or other fitness events and meet new like-minded people.
Finally, remember that it’s okay if you fell off the wagon. What matters now is getting back on. Now that you know what triggered it and sabotaged your fitness and health, you can be more prepared in the future. Recognize that relapse is nothing more than a stumble or a setback. In fact, if handled the right way, a relapse can actually open the door to lasting success, as you learn more about yourself.
Let me introduce you to - what we at BurnCraft call - KMMT Fitness, which stands for Krav Maga/Muay Thai Fitness. If you enjoy kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts classes, you’ll love our KMMT workouts on Wednesdays, featuring a variety of heavy bag routines, exciting grappling dummy drills, and heart-pounding cardio with fight fitness in mind. The focus of the training is metabolic conditioning and total body strength exercises.
If you’re ready for a fun, energetic, and motivating workout, check out my KMMT Fitness training program!
1. MyNetDiary - By far the best nutrition app I have found to keep track of your calorie intake and expenditure. The app helps you create a personalized plan for weight loss, shows nutrient content, and makes you aware of the pitfalls in your diet that undermine your fitness goals. It’s a great tool for meal preps and has a very extensive library of foods and drinks, including product barcodes that you can scan for the ultimate convenience.
2. Weight Loss Fitness - This app provides short and easy customized at-home workouts. It’s especially good for someone who is starting to get active after a period of inactivity. The app has video and audio coach support, a wide variety of exercises, and best pump up music mixes.
3. Map My Run by Under Armour - If you like running, this is an awesome app. You can map your running routes, get stats such as pace, distance, calories and elevation, set running goals to improve performance, and share your successes on social media to motivate your friends and family.
4. Muscle & Motion Strength - As a personal trainer, I recommend this app if you want to improve your strength with weight lifting. It’s an amazing educational app with colorful 3D animated graphics to show you exactly which muscle groups are targeted by specific exercises.
5. 12 Minute Athlete - You’ve heard of the legendary power of explosive HIIT workouts. They build muscle and improve cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as burn a great amount of calories in a short amount of time. This app provides quick workouts at the intensity you’ve been missing. What I love about it is that you can work out anytime and anywhere. You don’t need any special equipment.
6. Tabata Stopwatch Pro – Tabata Timer If you don’t need guided workouts and like the freedom to create your own training, I recommend the ultimate Tabata Interval Timer. You can use it with Tabata, HIIT, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, interval running, sprints, and more. It will take the guess work out of timing your interval training, so you can focus on your performance.
7. Cardio Kickboxing & Strength - I’m a big proponent of diversity in your workouts. Boredom is number one enemy of adherence. So, I had to throw in a cardio kickboxing workout app. Learn new routines, burn a ton of calories, and improve your stamina with these fun customized workouts. Great trainers and energizing music mixes will motivate you into shape.
8. My Diet Coach – Weight Loss This is a fun colorful interactive nutrition app for women. You can log your meals and exercises, set your weight loss goal, track your progress, and get inspiring tips, perseverance quotes, and useful diet reminders. You can customize your whole fitness experience, including your avatar. I love that you can set daily challenges, and the Food Cravings Panic Button is a great tool.
9. Bodybuilding.com Store - This is my favorite way to shop for supplements, pre-workouts, protein powders, vitamins, and sports nutrition products. It’s fast and easy, offers great shipping options, and has the largest selection and a ton of deals and sales.
10. BodySpace – Social Fitness App BodySpace by Bodybuilding.com has a big library of training programs. It’s also a social media community, where you can connect with like-minded people. If that is not enough, the app has innovative workout tools and fitness trackers to track your workouts, progress, and stats.
8410 Wadsworth Blvd., Ste. H-South
Arvada, CO 80003
Call or Text Us @ (720) 443-8227
Group Class Schedule
Mon-Fri: 530am, 630am, 12pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
Class Off-Times: By Appointment Only
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