Angie's Corner

Posts in the Angie Miller category

Want great arms and a strong core?

Want great arms and a strong core? Try a Pushup!

by Angie Miller

Angie MillerA Pushup is a great functional move that works the chest while toning the arms and strengthening the core. It’s one of my favorite exercises because it’s a bodyweight move requiring no extra equipment. It’s just you against gravity, and that’s the foundation of all training. Bodyweight exercises improve our form and posture and increase our overall body awareness.

Pushups are one of the most versatile, effective bodyweight exercises; and the best part is that anyone can do them, from a novice to an advanced exerciser. If you’re new to pushups you can start by doing them against the wall. From there you can perform them on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. After you’ve mastered that, you can try them in a modified or full plank position, depending on your arm, shoulder, and core strength. There are endless options for pushups, and no matter how you incorporate them into your weekly routine I guarantee that pushups deliver results. It won’t take long before you’ll see amazing definition in your arms, your core will feel stronger, and you’ll walk taller.

Step One: Begin in plank position, either on your knees or on your toes. Place your hands a little wider than shoulder distance apart. Keep your hips level and your torso long and extended. Your head should be in line with your spine.

 

 

 

 

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Step Two: Bend at your elbows and lower your body toward the ground, ideally until your chest is a few inches from the floor. Make sure that your head is still an extension of your spine so you don't allow it to drop. Inhale as you go down.

Tip: Pretend you have a belt around your waist so your center will stay strong. You want to avoid letting your hips drop or your lower back sway.

Step Three: Once you have lowered your body as far as you can while still maintaining good form, slowly press back up, exhaling as you go. Be sure to keep your body in one straight line all throughout the movement.

Now that you have the 411 on pushups, feel free to drop and give me 20.

Check back next week for more fitness tips, ideas, and information.

~Angie


Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

 

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, fitness, practice, tips, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

The 411 on Squats

by Angie Miller

Angie MillerA Squat is a functional move we perform in everyday life. We stand, sit, and bend throughout the day, whether we’re at home, in the office, or out for entertainment. Functional exercises are critical for good posture and body alignment, as well as balance, injury prevention, and core stability.

Squats are one of my favorite exercises because they tone and shape our gluteals, or what I fondly refer to as our powerhouse. If our glutes are strong our lower back has protection, and our lower back is an area that is prone to injury.

One of the best things about squats is that they’re complex exercises that recruit multiple muscles; therefore you expend more energy and burn calories more efficiently. Think of them as smart exercises, but remember that anything that makes your body smarter is going to require practice.

That being said, to prevent any “squatastrophies,” yes that’s a word I just made up, here’s the 411 on proper squat form, along with some visuals to bring it to life.

Step One: Stand with your feet hip distance apart, toes pointed forward or slightly outward, torso long and extended, and shoulders down and back. To start your squat, bend your hips and knees in a slow controlled manner, making sure that your torso stays strong and stable and your head in line with your spine.  

Caution: Avoid arching your lower back or hinging too far forward at the hips.

Step Two: As you squat, imagine tapping an invisible wall behind you with your gluteals. Keep your eyes focused forward and your weight into your heels.

Caution: Avoid letting your knees to go past your toes, and do not allow your heels to rise off of the floor at any point during the exercise.  

Tip: You can continue the downward phase of the movement until your thighs are parallel to the floor, (if possible); or until you will no longer be able to maintain good form and alignment.

Step Three: As you start the upward phase of the movement, load slightly into your heels, engage your gluteals, and stop when your hips and knees are fully extended.

Caution: Pay attention to your knees throughout the movement, making sure that they don’t collapse inward or shift outward.

Now that you have the 411 on squats, you’re on your way to a tight tush, toned legs, and better body mechanics. Stay tuned next week, when we’ll do the 411 on push-ups.

Safe Squatting,
Angie


Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, practice, squats | 0 comments | Read more

Great Glutes: Get a Tight Tush in 10 Minutes

by Angie Miller

Angie MillerI’ve got something a little different for you this week. Here’s my 10 minute Booty Burner routine (as featured on my Bedroom Body DVD, which also features two additional workouts: Buff Body Blast and Core & Pelvic Floor) which lifts, shapes, firms, and strengthens the glutes. All you need is an exercise mat or towel.


Pelvic Lifts

Muscles worked: Glutes, lower back, legs, abdominals



Start position
Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Be sure to keep your knees in line with your hip bones; avoid letting them drop open. Engage your abdominals, but allow a natural curve through your lower back. Place your arms at your sides, keeping your head, upper and mid back, gluteals and feet flush with the floor.



Movement: Inhale, then exhale as you lift your hips off the floor, tilting the pelvis up slightly and rolling up one vertebrae at a time. Hold this position, engaging your glutes, then release and lower your hips back down to start position. Repeat.

Reps/set: Perform three sets: 16 reps (1 second up, 1 second down); 16 reps (3 seconds up, 1 second down); 16 reps (1 second up, 3 seconds down).

Fitness note: Make sure your movement is slow and controlled, and avoid forcefully driving the hips up, causing your lower back to arch. Keep your center strong and feel the power through your gluteals.


Single-leg Bridge

Muscles worked: Glutes, lower back, legs, abdominals



Start position: Lie face up on the floor, with one knee bent and the other leg extended and straight. Tuck your tailbone under and tilt your pelvis up slightly. Engage your abdominals and squeeze your glutes to avoid arching your lower back. Place your arms comfortably at your sides.



Movement: Start by lifting your hips and raising your extended leg toward the ceiling, pointing your toes as you lift. At the top, hold the position, allowing the gluteals to fire, then lower your hips and bring your extended leg back down, slow and controlled, flexing your foot as you lower. Keep your abdominals engaged and your center strong throughout the movement. Repeat.

Reps/sets: Perform 16 reps on each side.

Fitness note: Work with your body's natural range of motion and avoid forcefully driving the hips up, causing the lower back to arch. Focus on the power through your gluteals as you lift and lower.


Quadruped hip extensions (bent-leg raises)

Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, core



Start position: Come into a quadruped position on all fours. Place your palms on the floor directly below your shoulders, your knees directly below your hips. The top of your feet should rest comfortably on the floor. To stabilize your spine and find a neutral position, exhale and arch your back, then inhale and sway. From there, settle into a neutral position. Keep the head and neck in line with the spine and avoid lifting the head or letting it drop down. Engage your abdominals and keep your center strong. Your hips should be square and stable.

Optional: Place a light dumbbell behind one knee.



Movement: With your abdominals engaged, exhale and lift the loaded leg (the leg with the dumbbell behind the knee) toward the ceiling to a 90-degree angle, no higher than hip level. Come up to where the foot is parallel to the ceiling and your body is in a straight line from the crown of your head to your bent knee. Hold the position, allowing your glutes to fire, then release and lower down, slow and controlled.

Reps/sets: Perform three sets each leg: 8 reps slow (two up, two down); 4 reps with pulses (up and pulse three times, lower down on 4); 8 reps single (one up, one down). Switch sides and repeat the three sets.

Fitness note: Avoid leaning on the support leg. Take a wider stance if necessary for more support. Engage your abdominals and hold your center strong -- imagine someone taking a picture of you from the side.



Stretch: To stretch out your glutes, start by lying on your back. Inhale, then, as you exhale, hug your knees to your chest to feel your back and your glutes lengthen and relax. Hold, then release. Repeat at least three times and hold for 10 seconds each.

Own the entire workout on DVD!

~Angie Miller


Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, DVD, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

Fact or Fiction: Fitness Myths Debunked

by Angie Miller

Angie MillerWhen it comes to exercise and proper nutrition there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. After all, living a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of time and dedication and we all want to know if there’s a better way. But in reality there are no short cuts, and if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Below are four common myths, and some facts to set the story straight.

Myth #1: If you stop lifting weights your muscles will turn to fat.
Fact: Fat and muscle are two different types of tissue and cannot convert to one another. When not in use, muscles atrophy, or decrease in size, but they don’t turn to fat. If you stop exercising and lifting weights, but you continue to consume the same amount of calories, you will likely see an increase in body fat and a loss of muscle mass.

Myth #2: Exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will help you burn more calories from fat.
Fact: It’s true that when you wake up in the morning your body hasn’t had fuel for a number of hours. This puts it in fasting mode and increases the use of fat for energy because glycogen (energy) stores are depleted. However, it also slows metabolism. Working out requires energy, and if your energy stores are depleted you won’t have the fuel needed to push yourself harder for longer periods of time. For best results, fuel your body before you work out to boost your metabolism and burn calories more efficiently.

Myth #3: If you want to lose weight you need to be in your “Fat Burning Zone.”
Fact: You burn the most calories from fat when your body is at total rest. In other words, when you’re sleeping. On the flip side, you also burn the least amount of calories overall. If your goal is to lose weight then you need to burn more calories than you consume. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. Where the calories come from is secondary.

Myth #4: If you want to chisel a sexy middle you need to do crunches and sit-ups.
Fact: You don’t get to choose where you lose fat. Training a muscle group in isolation will strengthen the muscles underneath the fat, but not burn fat from that area. Cardio/aerobic exercise burns calories and reduces overall body fat, strength training amps your metabolism, and eating a lean, healthy diet keeps you trim and strong. If you want to chisel a sexy middle your best bet is to combine cardio and strength work with exercises that stabilize and strengthen your entire core.

While there may not be any shortcuts, the good news is that knowledge is power. The more we understand about exercise and nutrition the better decisions we make, and good decisions lead to positive results.

Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

Routines: The Plus Side of Predictability

by Angie Miller

Angie MillerI just returned from a thirteen-day volunteer trip to Hungary. It was rewarding and memorable to say the least, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my daily routine. Not necessarily the one that involves real life responsibilities and everyday stressors. That routine can’t compete with the energy and novelty of life on vacation. The routine I missed was my daily workout schedule, the one that boosts my confidence, gets my day started, and mentally prepares me for whatever it is that might come by way. The one where I teach fitness classes and swing my kettlebells. That routine makes me feel purposeful and accomplished. The other can sometimes drive me crazy.

My experience got me to thinking about the concept of routine. What is it about routine that we come to dread when vacation is long overdue, but crave after we’ve been away for too long? Is it the predictability of knowing what lies ahead and how we will spend our time? Does the discipline of daily routine help us lead our life with intention? Or is that there is comfort in knowing where we will be and what is expected of us? Maybe it’s all of above. But I do know that when it comes to exercise, whether you crave routine or you love the freedom of escaping it, schedules lead to success. They help us establish where we need to be, what we need to do, how we will accomplish our goals.

Here are a few tips for scheduling a successful workout routine.

Start with the following questions:

1. How many days a week do I want to work out, and what days will work best in my schedule?

2. How long will I set-aside for each workout?

3. What type of exercise will I do? Plan a specific workout for each day of the week that you exercise. Vary your routine, and make sure you’re including a good mix of strength, cardio, and flexibility.  

Now that you know how many days, how much time, and what you’ll do, it’s time to put it on the calendar. The idea is to schedule your workouts like you do your appointments, your job, and your kid’s activities.

Once it’s on the calendar you are more likely to be consistent, and soon exercise will become a lifestyle rather than a burden or a chore. That’s when the real transformation takes place; where you don't just see results, you feel results.

My trip to Hungary gave me perspective in more ways than one, but what I love is that reinforced that there’s positive side to predictability. Routines are the backbone of our existence, and when it comes to exercise they are the driving force behind our success.

~Angie Miller

Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

How to Build an Exercise Program to Achieve My Goals

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

To maximize your potential and accomplish your goals, use the FITT Principles as your guide. FITT is an acronym for frequency, intensity, time, and type, and each variable is a critical component when designing a safe, effective exercise program.Fit principles are based off of guidelines from the (ACSM), American College of Sports Medicine.

Frequency- refers to how often you work out, or the number of days per week that you exercise. Frequency depends on your fitness level, your goals, and what type of training you’re doing, whether it’s cardio, strength, or flexibility.

ACSM guidelines recommend the following:

Cardiorespiratory Training: 3- 5 days per week; 3 days a week for vigorous intensity, or 5 days a week for moderate intensity

Strength Training: 2-3 days per week (beginner), 3-4 (intermediate), 4-7 (advanced)

Flexibility Training: 2-3 days per week minimum

(See ACSM guidelines for more specifics)

Intensity- refers to how hard you’re working. For cardio, intensity is best measured using your heart rate or rate of perceived exertion.  The Heart Rate Reserve Method (HRR) is a more accurate way to measure your energy expenditure during exercise and help you determine your training zone. For strength training, intensity is measured according to the amount of resistance you use, usually expressed as a percentage of your one rep maximum (1-RM). Intensity also varies according to how many sets you complete, how many repetitions in each set, and the length of rest period between sets. 

Time- is the length, or duration of your exercise session. The amount of time you spend exercising will depend on your goals, your fitness level, and the type of training you’re doing. Know that a change in one variable will have an effect on the others, therefore if you increase your intensity chances are you’ll need to decrease the duration of your workout.

Type- Type refers to your choice of activity, whether it’s cardio, strength, or flexibility, and all of the options therein. Different activities are recommended for different results and the choice of activity depends on your goals, fitness level, and your personal preference. 

By manipulating the variables according to your goals you can achieve the results you want, safely and effectively. Having a plan is key to your success. Decide what your goals are for the week, and plan your workouts accordingly. Most importantly, follow the FITT principles, and vary your weekly routine to include cardio, strength, and flexibility work to get maximum results.

--Angie Miller

 Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, FITT, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

What do stress, confidence, and brain health have in common?

by Angie Miller

 

What do stress, confidence, and brain health have in common?

 

Angie MillerIn today’s fast paced society, managing stress is pivotal to good health. Stress can erode our confidence and compromise our ability to think clearly and effectively. So how do we manage stress, build our confidence, and boost our brain potential?  Exercise.

  1. Exercise reduces stress. Wayne Dyer says that much of what perpetuates stress is guilt and worry. Guilt about the past and worry about the future paralyze many of us. He calls them unproductive emotions because they prevent us from focusing on today. Exercise frees us from negative thought patterns, the “should haves” of yesterday and the “what ifs” of tomorrow, and instills positive emotions that help us cope with everyday stress. Exercise is like a broomstick to the brain. It clears away the clutter, gives us clarity, and helps us to be present.  
  1. Exercise gives us body confidence. Exercise gives us the opportunity to challenge our body and discover our true potential. When we run that extra mile or increase the amount of weight in our workout, we realize how strong and capable our body is when put to the test. Through exercise we gain body confidence and that transfers into every area of our life. When we accept the way we look, it changes the way we feel. That affects how we live our life at home, in the office, and in our relationships. More importantly, it has a positive affect on our internal dialogue, that voice that guides our behaviors and decisions.
  1. Exercise boosts our brainpower. According to the latest research, exercise continues to prove itself worthy of more than bigger biceps. Exercise is one of our best lines of defense against cognitive decline. It increases blood supply to the brain and helps us stay sharp and focused. Through exercise we create a relationship between our brain and body, one that fosters a connection that will keep us strong mentally and physically for years to come.

Exercise is a powerful tool. It can give us a lean physique, six-pack abs, and amazing arms. But it can do so much more. Exercise empowers us to look, feel, and live our best life.

Angie Miller

Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

 

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, stress, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Living Life Well

By Angie Miller

Angie MillerHow well are you? If you’re in shape, practice sound nutrition principles, and exercise regularly, you’re probably considered fit and healthy. But in terms of overall wellness, what does that mean? Wellness is multidimensional, and encompasses all the areas of our life that add meaning and value. It can guide us to optimal living provided we make choices that maximize our potential. The dimensions of wellness are interrelated, so improved functioning in one area will have a positive effect on another, but balance is important. Three dimensions of wellness, physical, social, and emotional compliment one another well and are especially relevant to living a healthy life.

Physical Wellness: For many of us, if we’re active, love to exercise, and work hard to stay in shape; we see physical wellness as something that trumps all others. We give it a lot of time and energy because we believe in the power it has to lead us to long-term health. But physical wellness isn’t just what you see on the outside. It’s what you can’t see, such as blood pressure, bone density, and cholesterol levels that are just as important, as is how much sleep you get. Physical wellness is the overall condition and functioning of the body inside and out. Without a doubt, it has a profound impact on the other dimensions of wellness, but it alone it can’t make us complete.

Social Wellness: Connectedness and satisfying relationships are central to this dimension. Being able to successfully interact with others and communicate clearly and effectively are also important, as well as intimacy and the ability to trust. When we’re socially well we’re able to turn to others for support, resolve differences in a respectful manner, and practice active listening.

Emotional Wellness: Being able to manage and control emotions is key to emotional wellness. Also, being able to acknowledge and express a wide variety of emotions, anger, fear, sadness, and joy, in a healthy, productive manner. Dealing effectively with life’s challenges is important to emotional wellness, as well as resiliency, optimism, and self-confidence.

Overall, the dimensions of wellness are greater than the sum of their parts. Cultivating our physical, social, and emotional health has a profound impact on our ability to live life to the fullest, and to feel at peace with ourselves and with the world around us.

Thanks for reading,

Angie Miller

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Welcome To Angie's Corner

Angie MillerWelcome to Angie's Corner - a new weekly blog featured exclusively at CollageVideo.com - written by fitness pro Angie Miller. Find out more about Angie HERE.

Each week Angie will be posting about fitness and wellness topics as well as addressing new trends and workouts. Be sure to check back every week for her latest insights.

Thanks for reading.

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, New Feature, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more
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