Tag Archives: fitness

Who Inspires You?

Harriette Thompson, 91, from Charlotte, N.C.

Harriette Thompson, 91, from Charlotte, N.C.

There are people you meet in life that prove everyone wrong and defeat “the odds”. They take their situation and decide not to listen to what everyone has to say, but instead decide for themselves what they are going to do. In turn they become an inspiration, a walking example of how we should all strive to live our lives. Harriette Thompson is someone we look up to here at Body Bar.

At 91, Thompson finished a marathon (26.2 miles!) with a pace of about 16 minute miles. All while raising almost 6 figures for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Yes – it’s just as amazing as it sounds!

Don’t believe it? Watch a clip on Harriette here.

Who inspires you? How do you use that inspiration in your daily life?

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7 Tips for Outdoor Summer Workouts

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With summer just around the corner, everyone is getting antsy to do as many activities as possible outside.  Before you step outside, be sure to read these tips that will ensure you have a safe & fun outdoor workout.

1.  Wear Clothes

We know it can be tempting to show off that six-pack you worked all winter on but wearing clothing can actually keep you cooler than stripping down.  Wearing moisture-wicking sport clothes will draw the sweat away from your body to keep you cool.  Plus if the fabric is tightly knit or made of UV material, you are less likely to get burned.

2.  Slap on Some Sunscreen

Be sure to put on sunscreen 30 minutes before heading out the door.  If you don’t wait for the sunscreen to soak in, you’ll end up getting it in your eyes and you’ll also end up with burned skin.  Choose 15 SPF – 30 SPF, anything over 30 is unnecessary and has been proven to work just the same as the 30 SPF.  Be sure to purchase sunscreen that does not have Vitamin A, oxybenzone or added insect repellent as these chemicals have been known to cause cancer.  Click here for a list of sunscreens that are safe.

3.  Bring Water

This is a no brainer, hydrate, hydrate then hydrate some more.  If you’re going to be out for a long workout, bring a snack to keep up your energy.  We don’t suggest using energy drinks as the sugar in them can have adverse effects like further dehydration and a spike in blood sugar which will later lead to a sugar crash.  Post workout, be sure to keep hydrating.  If you’re really feeling like you just can’t take in enough water, coconut water is the way to go!

4.  Wear Sunglasses

Protect those eyes!  Make sure your sunglasses protect you from the UV rays that can cause cataracts and glaucoma.

5.  Train Early Morning or Late Afternoon

Make sure you are working out when the weather is not as hot.  Working out in the early morning or late afternoon means no direct sun.  If you do decide to workout mid-day, be sure you have a shaded area to workout in or a great mid-day summer workout would be in a pool.

6.  Beware of Allergies

No one likes to be stuffed up while trying to workout.  But did you know that if those symptoms go untreated you could develop asthma?  So be sure to check the pollen levels before stepping outside.  Plan your workouts later in the day when the pollen is typically not as high and avoid areas where you know there will be dense pollen.  Be sure to shower after your workouts as well.  A great natural remedy for allergies is a spoonful of local honey a day.  This helps to build your immunity against the pollen in your area.  To find local honey in your area, click here.

7.  Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion/Stroke

Sometimes no matter how determined you are to workout, you have to be aware of how your body is reacting to the heat.  Be sure to look for these signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in the picture above.  If you or your workout buddy start experiencing these symptoms, move to a cool area quickly, apply a cold compress or immerse your body in cold water to lower the body temperature and seek medical attention if you are experiencing a heat stroke.

 

Enjoy the summer and have a safe & fun workout!

 

What precautions do you take before heading out for your summer workouts?  Comment below to share!

3 Easy Ways to Stay Fit at the Office

We have all heard that “sitting is the new smoking” but what can you do when your job requires you to sit from 9-5?  Not everyone has the space or means for one of those fancy treadmill desks or even a desk that allows you to stand all day.  Sitting for too long results in a sedentary lifestyle which in turn results in higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

So what can be done to help combat the risks?  Here are some tips to make sure your life does not become so sedentary in the office.

1.  Drink Plenty of Water

motiveweight:    Drink more water!

Water is essential for health.  It supports the digestive system, increases your metabolism and even curbs cravings.  Drinking enough water will also force you to get up from your desk at least once an hour not just for a bathroom break but to refill your water bottle.  Keep at least a 16oz cup at your desk and even setting a timer to remind you to drink will help your consumption.  We’ve also found that keeping it right next to your mouse or near our dominate hand makes us more likely to reach for our water.

2. Learn How to Sit

Save your back with these tips on how to sit. 6 more ways to beat back pain: http://www.menshealth.com/health/5-ways-beat-back-pain?cm_mmc=Pinterest-_-MensHealth-_-Content-Health-_-BeatBackPain #NMHW

As you perform an exercise, you are are aware of your form.  Having the wrong form during an exercise can result in injury and sitting is no different.  Having the wrong set up can greatly deteriorate your posture and lead to neck and/or back pain.  Make sure your chair is set up properly and that you are sitting up straight with good posture.

3.  Find Fitness Equipment to Use at Work – Get Up & Move!

Click on the image to see how to use the Body Bar Flex in the office

The Body Bar and Body Bar Flex are great tools to use in the office.  We’re lucky enough to have a few lying around the office to pick up and use as we like. Having something in your vision or setting a reminder every hour or every other hour will remind you to get up and move!  We also love using stability balls as our desk chair (click HERE to learn more).  Not only do they force us to sit up straight but they are easy to workout on.  Just bouncing creates a little workout plus it even helps to improve your mood.  The great thing is, these pieces of equipment take up little room and a little 5 minute routine here and there throughout the day can improve your health immensely.

What are some ways you stay fit in your office?  Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Olympic Bobsledder Workout with Body Bar

It is sad to say but we have reached the last event of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  What better way to end it than with a mini workout inspired by one of the toughest sports at the games, Bobsledding.  These athletes must have total body strength, power, speed and the ability to react in the blink of an eye.  Just getting a bobsled to start from a dead stop requires a lot of lower body power.  Strong hips and legs are necessary for that explosive first push

This Body Bar workout will build strength and power in your lower body plus an added upper body move that is meant to help with that push start.

1. Body Bar Sumo Squat – 3 sets fo 10-12 reps

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With feet wide, slowly squat down past a 90 degree angle pushing your butt out with a slight curve in the back.  Keep your chest up and the weight in your heels.  Push up quickly through your heels to the starting position.  Make sure the Body Bar is not on your neck.

2.  Body Bar Curtsy Lunge – 3 sets of 8 reps on each side

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Stand with feet hip-width apart, Body Bar resting right below your neck. Take a giant step diagonally back with left foot and cross it behind your right; bend knees (as if curtsying) as you reach your left hand toward floor on the outside of your right foot.

3. Body Bar Power Clean – 4 sets of 8

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Grab the Body Bar with overhand should-width grip. Squat, keeping back flat and shoulders pulled back. With arms straight, thrust hips forward and explosively stand up, pulling bar off the floor. As the Body Bar passes your thighs, move onto your toes and bend your elbows and raise your upper arms to pull the bar high. When it reaches chest level, “catch” it on your front shoulders and drop into a partial squat (knees bent 50 degrees) with palms facing the ceiling. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor when the bar lands on your shoulders.

Hope you all have enjoyed our Body Bar 2014 Sochi Olympic Blog Series!  For more information on the Body Bar, Mini Body Bar & Body Bar Flex plus Body Bar media and workouts, visit:

WWW.BODYBAR.COM

Body Bar Olympic Hockey Workout

Hockey players are some of the most agile and explosive athletes out there especially those that have been chosen for the Olympic games.  Hockey increases the demands on areas of the body most people never get around to training.  Not many of us have to think about training to get cross-checked on a daily basis or running into a wall at high speeds on ice.

This Body Bar workout will give you a glimpse into what a Hockey player must endure during training plus add a little spice into your normal routine.  Rest 45 seconds between each set.  This routine should be explosive while keeping your heart rate up.

1. Body Bar Chest Press – 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Lie down on the floor and bend your knees so both feet are on the floor. Grasp the Body Bar® in an overhand grip with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Bar begins directly over the chest with arms straight. Bend elbows out to the sides to bring the bar towards the chest. Extend elbows to return to starting position.

2. Body Bar Russian Twist – 3 sets of 15 reps

Lie down on the floor and bend your knees so both feet are on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest and cradle the bar. Lift the shoulder blades off the floor and bring the right shoulder up and towards the left inner thigh. The opposite end of the bar will move towards the floor. Return to the starting position.

3. Body Bar Bent Over Row – 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Begin with your feet hip distance apart (or wider), grasping the Body Bar® in an overhand grip with one hand. Position the bar to the side of your body hanging straight down. Tilt from the hips and let the bar hang at your knees (hand holding the bar will be close to the knee). Bend the elbow and pull back to bring the bar in towards the crease of your hip. Elbow should be tucked in close to the side. Extend the elbow to return to the starting position.

4. Body Bar Deadlift

Begin with feet hip distance apart. Place the BodyBar in front of the thighs (overhand grip). With a slight bend in the knees, begin to move the hips back and the chest forward to drop the bar to slightly below the knees. Return to the starting position.

NOTE: Be sure to keep the back long; avoid rounding the spine as you lean forward. This is not a flexibility exercise; it is meant to target the back of the legs, but not from excessive forward flexion. Instead, concentrate on pushing the hips as far back as you can while keeping the spine long.

5. Body Bar Lunges – 3 sets of 8 reps (on each side)

With feet hip distance apart, split your stance (one foot forward, the other back). Bring the Body Bar® up and over your head to rest lightly on the fleshy part of your upper back. Keeping body upright, bend both knees as you lower towards the ground. The back shin should become perpendicular to the ground with its heel lifted and the front thigh should be perpendicular to the ground with the knee behind the toes. Push through the heel of the front foot and the toe of the back foot to return to the starting position. Keep the elbows lifted (which will keep the chest lifted) to keep the bar in place as you lower down. Make sure you do not pull on the bar during the squat, but rest your hands lightly on the underside during execution

6. Body Bar Super Set Cardio Finisher – 4 sets

  • Body Bar High Knees – 15-30 seconds
  • Body Bar Skaters – 15- 30 seconds

Trainer like an Olympic Curler with Body Bar

At first glance Curling may just seem like an over-sized version of shuffle board.  In reality, this sport requires athletes to have amazing flexibility and endurance.  To get in and out of a delivery posture and keep themselves upright in it, curlers need strong legs and limber hip flexors.  They also need to have a strong core to stabilize themselves while gliding on the ice only using brooms and gliders to steady themselves.  So we have come to the conclusion that Olympic curlers need great flexibility, strength and stability.  And yoga is great for developing all three!

This Body Bar exercise involves a classic yoga move plus the extra challenge of adding weight.  The Warrior sequence builds leg strength while opening up the hips and engaging the abdominals.

Warrior Sequence with the Mini Body Bar

Be sure to follow your breath through this sequence.  Warrior I usually starts with a breath in, Warrior II a breath out and Reverse Warrior breath in and so on. You can hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.

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Warrior I : The Mini Body Bar should be raised to shoulder height.  Make sure your knee does not go past your ankle.

Warrior II : Spin your back foot so that it now perpendicular to your front foot.  The Mini Bar will remain in the same front hand at shoulder height and your other arm will now raise to the same height.

Reverse Warrior: Raise the Mini Body Bar overhead as your back hand slides down your back leg.  Make sure you keep your knee at a 90 degree angle

EXTRA CHALLENGE Warrior III:  Move into this balancing pose by slowly lifting your back leg off the ground while bringing your Mini Body Bar in front of you.

To end the sequence return to Warrior I, place the bar on the ground as you bend forward at the hips.  Step your front leg back so that you are now in downward dog.  Breath in that position for about 5 breaths then switch legs and arms and return to Warrior I to repeat on the other side.

To purchase your own Mini Body Bar, Click HERE

Train like a Figure Skater with Body Bar

Figure skating is an artistic sport that utilizes a number of muscle groups, including your legs, hips, core region and shoulders. Strength training is necessary for figure skaters to promote strength for performing jumps, spins and increasing speed and power on the ice. Along with a consistent aerobic exercise program to build endurance, perform strength training for specific muscle groups at least twice a week.

This Body Bar exercise will engage your glutes and hamstrings.  The balancing element of doing this one-legged will also engage your core plus, it should make you feel like a graceful skater 🙂

Body Bar Single-Leg Deadlift:

Begin with feet together, Body Bar in front of the thighs (overhand grip).

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With a slight bend in the knees, begin to move the hips back and the chest forward to drop the bar to slightly below the knees.

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Simultaneously, elevate one leg behind you as the chest is coming forward. The bar will remain parallel to the floor and travel over the shoe laces to slightly below the knee.

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Return to the starting position.

NOTE: Be sure to keep the back long; avoid rounding the spine as you lean forward. This is not a flexibility exercise; it is meant to target the back of the legs, but not from excessive forward flexion. Instead, concentrate on pushing the hips as far back as you can while keeping the spine long.

To purchase your own Body Bar, Click HERE