Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the healthy aging category

Exercises You Can Do on the Treadmill That Aren’t Running

by Jari Love

Here are some exercises provided by strength and conditioning specialist Mike Donavanik that offer an alternative to just running on the treadmill.  The moves will strengthen your entire body and get your heart rate up to burn crazy calories. Try performing these exercises—which Donavanik demos in the videos below—before, after, or even instead of your regular run. 

  1. Walking Lunges

Doing walking lunges across your gym floor is next to impossible. There’s never enough room, and that girl on her cell phone has zero clue she’s standing right in your way. Performing them on a treadmill removes the obstacles so that you can focus on the move and get the most from every leg-burning lunge.

To do: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and turn the treadmill’s speed up to 3 mph (you can tweak this as necessary). Keeping your hands clasped together at chest level, step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Then, rise up and bring your back foot forward so that you move forward, alternating legs with each step. To focus on your glutes and hamstrings, set the treadmill to an incline of five percent. 

  1. Side Shuffles

Side shuffles work both your inner and outer thighs, while also toning you calves and doubling as a cardio exercise.

To do: Stand sideways on the treadmill with your knees slightly bent, and bring the speed up to between 3 and 5.5 mph. Perform quick and rapid side shuffles, making sure to land softly on the balls of your feet. Switch sides.

 

  1. Low (Squat) Side Shuffles

This exercise works your hard-to-hit glute medius—basically, your side butt. Nice.

To do: Stand sideways on the treadmill, and get into a quarter-squat position, keeping your chest up and core braced. Bring the speed up to 1 to 2 mph. Staying in the quarter-squat position, step toward the front of the treadmill with your closest leg, and then follow with your opposite leg. Switch sides.

 

  1. Walking Plank

And you thought the traditional plank was rough. This variation works the front of your shoulders like no other, while forcing your stabilizers to work harder than ever.

To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a plank position, with your hands on the side of the treadmill base. Keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels, place your hands on the treadmill band and walk your hands forward for the duration of the exercise. 

  1. Reverse Mountain Climbers

While a traditional mountain climber will work your entire body, this variation places more emphasis on kicking your legs back, as opposed to driving your knees in. That’s good news if you’re trying to sculpt your backside.

To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a plank position, facing away from the machine. Your feet should be on the sides of the treadmill base and your hands on the floor. When you’re ready, bring your feet onto the treadmill, and drive one knee into your chest as the other leg extends back. Switch legs for the duration of the exercise.

 

See more…

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Tips That Every Personal Trainer Knows

by Jari Love

They clock in wearing sports bras instead of pencil skirts. Peek in their supply closets and you’ll see kettlebells and battle ropes instead of paper clips and spare pens. And in their world, toner has nothing to do with printers and everything to do with defined upper arms and shapely glutes. Personal trainers have dedicated their professional lives to building better bodies. We called up some of the best in the biz and picked their brains for the slim-down, firm-up tricks of their trade. 

  1. You can’t just do cardio … 

Walking, running, cycling, and other heart-pumping activities have a whole host of benefits—burning calories, boosting your mood, protecting your cardiovascular system. But when it comes to weight loss, you also need to head to the other part of the gym, where the barbells and dumbbells reside, says Michelle Blakely, a trainer at Blakely Fit in Chicago. 

Like cardio, strength training burns calories while you’re doing it, but lifting also comes with benefits that last far longer, Blakely says. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolism, which means you’ll burn more fat even when you’re just sitting on the couch. What’s more, strong muscles promote good form during your run, hike, or spin class, protecting you from injury and helping you reap bigger benefits from your sweat sessions, says Allison Hagendorf, a certified health coach with the American Council on Exercise.

 

  1. And heavier weights net you even bigger results. 

Functional body-weight moves like push-ups, squats, and lunges make everyday activities like lifting groceries or climbing stairs easier, Hagendorf says. Reaching for heavier dumbbells—those you can lift for only 8 to 15 reps—can stimulate the type of lean-mass production that truly transforms your body. “For someone who has never done weights, they may find they have a better body in their 40s than they did in their 30s when they start strength training regularly,” says Liz Neporent, a trainer and fitness expert in New York. 

Don’t fret about bulking up—unless you’re spending hours at the gym and pounding down massive quantities of protein, it just won’t happen. In fact, resistance training essentially “shrink-wraps” your body, tightening and firming you in all the right places, says Hagendorf. Your clothes will fit more loosely and you’ll look slimmer, even before the number on the scale budges. 

  1. The best workout won’t deliver without upgrades to your kitchen routine. 

They may not use corporate-speak like “synergy” and “touching base offline,” but trainers have their own sayings. Among the most popular: “You can’t out-train a bad diet,” says Samantha Clayton, a former Olympic sprinter and personal trainer in Malibu, CA. 

Your workout can complement your initial weight loss efforts and help maintain a new, slimmer physique. University of Alabama researchers recently studied women who lost 25 pounds. Those who did strength training and cardio three times per week offset the slowdown in metabolism that typically occurs after you shed pounds, staving off regain, according to the study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 

However, you’ll have to change your eating habits to see significant changes to your body in the first place. “Even if you’re doing everything right in the gym, if you aren’t eating to optimize your training, you’re never going to get the results you want,” Hagendorf says. Start with small changes—one less packet of sugar in your coffee, a side salad with your lunch. Keep that up for 2 weeks, and then pick two more minor adjustments. Eventually, you’ll build a nutritious and sustainable diet, says Liz LeFrois, a personal trainer in New York and a fitness expert on the streaming fitness site Acacia TV.

 

  1. But addition can be better than subtraction. 

Though you do have to watch what you eat, obsessive or near-starvation diets don’t work in the long run. Cutting too many calories breaks down the muscles you’re working so hard to build up, Clayton says. You may shed a few pounds at first by skipping meals or eliminating entire food groups, but the second you return to a regular eating plan, your beaten-down body and slowed metabolism actually trigger excess weight gain.

 

Focus on what to add to your diet instead of what to take away. Piling more high-quality, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts onto your plate provides your body with the fuel to tackle your workouts while also improving your overall health, Blakely says. You’ll feel fuller on fewer calories, and over time—about 6 months, to be precise—you’ll actually rewire your brain to crave healthy foods instead of junk, according to a recent study in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes.

 

  1. In the recipe for success, fun is an essential ingredient. 

Trainers have a rep for working you so hard you puke. Not only are such extreme efforts unnecessary for weight loss, they may be counterproductive both physiologically and psychologically. If you actively dread your workouts, it’s all too easy to make excuses to skip them, says Mike Robinson, of MZR Fitness in San Luis Obispo, CA, recognized as 2015 personal trainer of the year by the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. 

Meanwhile, many pastimes that bring you joy—like gardening, hiking, or dancing—count as physical activity, too. Incorporating them into your plan means you’ll actually look forward to exercise, getting you into a regular routine and melting fat with much less effort. “Many people think exercise has to be very difficult and complicated to yield results,” Clayton says. “They are pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s balance and consistency that improves your body.” 

  1. The other 23 hours of the day count, too. 

Regardless of whether you’re sweating with a trainer or on your own, a successful weight loss program requires an all-day approach to movement, Blakely says. You might not think things like fidgeting during a meeting or tapping your toe along with the car radio could truly make a difference. A landmark study in the journal Science found otherwise, calculating that small tweaks in daily activity patterns could help heavy people torch an extra 350 calories per day.

 

The scientific term for this phenomenon is non–exercise activity thermogenesis—in other words, all the calories you burn just going about your day. So while you’re probably sick of hearing about parking farther away from the grocery store and taking the stairs instead of the escalator, trainers know their most successful clients take this type of advice to heart.

 

  1. Getting fit isn’t actually that much harder than staying heavy. 

Yes, you will have to put some work into achieving your weight loss goals. But consider all the energy you currently expend wishing you had a different body and fretting about how you don’t have the time or energy to make a change. Trainers know the true secret to changing your body is shifting your attention away from what you don’t have and toward what you can achieve. “You just have to choose which one you want to put your energy into,” says Robinson. “Firmly commit and put your mind to losing the weight and your body will follow.”

 

  1. Weight loss isn’t your true goal. 

Often, people starting a new exercise program begin because they’re unhappy with what they see in the mirror. But a good trainer will ask you to drill down deeper. “Just keeping asking yourself the question ‘Why?’ ” Blakely advises. Often, the fourth or fifth answer reveals your true motivation. 

Take Blakely’s experience: “As I get to know the client, I’ll find they’re not going on vacations with friends because they know they can’t do the hike or the excursion as comfortably as they want. Or they’re not as spontaneous as they want to be because they know that their building is under construction and it’s overwhelming that now they have to walk a certain length to get somewhere,” she says. 

Clarifying these higher-level goals—even writing them down and sticking them to your mirror or fridge—can give you the motivation to stick to your plan in the face of temptation, Hagendorf says. Plus, you can often detect progress even before you start to see big aesthetic or weight changes. “The feel is the fuel,” Blakely likes to say; if you notice you’re not as fatigued, winded, or frightened of new challenges, you’ll know you’re on the right track regardless of what the scale says.

 

via prevention.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Reasons You Should Not Work Out Alone

by Jari Love

No matter how much you’ve made working out a part of your daily routine there are going to be days where it’s 5 a.m. and hitting the ground running is the last thing you want to do. Rest assured, even among the physically fit, you’re not alone. Having a partner to hold you accountable will make it considerably easier to overcome those groggy hurdles. But that’s not all. There’s a reason there’s burgeoning crop of apps designed with the sole purpose of helping you seek out a compatible workout partner. To find out more about the benefits of training with someone else The Cheat Sheet spoke with Ruben Belliard, co-founder of Warrior Fitness Boot Camp. 

  1. It’s more fun 

Exercising with a workout buddy is a social experience — allowing you to kill two proverbial birds with one stone. Instead of dreading going to the gym, working out will become a way of spending quality time with your significant other, a family member, a good friend, or a new career connection. Heard of #Sweatworking? It’s a thing. Studies also show that dates in which individuals join in a common activity versus exchange resumes over wine are more often successful. The extra endorphins and pheromones don’t hurt, either. 

As a whole, your workout buddy will most likely introduce you to new routines or encourage you to try a class you had never tried before, which will not only bring variety to your fitness regimen, but create a new inimitable bond between you. 

  1. It keeps you accountable

No matter how exhausted you are from the ups and downs of everyday life, you’ll show up, because someone is relying on you. Knowing that canceling will not only impact your own wellness, but that of your scheduled partner’s, will ensure you make an added effort to follow through. There will be days that you really do not want to work out. That’s inevitable. Yet, having a partner to motivate you and get you into the gym will keep you going. Make sure to choose someone who has similar fitness goals so that your commitment levels are equal. It’s been proven that having friends who are healthy makes you healthier as well. So keep your friends close, and your active friends closer! 

Prefer group classes? Sign yourself up in advance, commit to a payment plan and force yourself into a situation in which you have little to no room to back out. 

  1. You’ll have support to try new things 

Having a buddy will help provide encouragement to try different things. Attempting a new exercise is tough, but having a sidekick alongside will help nudge you to try the more adventurous, potentially intimidating, but often remarkably effective workouts — like cardio dance classes, jumping exercises, or my specialty, obstacle courses. Like they say: There’s power in numbers, and the added confidence of having a co-conspirator of sorts by your side can provide that much needed kick to try something new. 

  1. You’ll get that extra push 

Your workout buddy will inevitably keep you competitive. Friendly competition, of course — nonetheless, it will add fuel to the fire of your workout regimen. Healthy competition between two buddies can motivate you to achieve a goal you’ve never reached for before, and intensity is the fire that drives progress. It’s been found that choosing a workout partner who is fitter than you are has positive effects on your ability to improve. Whether you’re trying to edge them out, beat their previous time, lap them around the course, or get in just one more rep, competition with a worthy opponent is unquestionably a compelling motivator and a sensation that can’t be replicated while remaining solo. Just make certain that you are not pushing too far outside of your limits and staying safe. Competition can be healthy, until it’s not! 

  1. You’ll be safer 

Having someone watching your movements and correcting mistakes isn’t only necessary for progress, but it’s also important for making sure that you are progressing safely. While pushing yourself to accomplish the next rep, it’s often difficult to keep an eye on your form, but a spotter will ensure that this crucial component does not fall to the wayside. You’ll also be able to safely attempt to push yourself into that extra (and important) rep — and to the point of exhaustion — without worrying that your muscles will give out and that you’ll risk injury. Your buddy will be there for you if something goes wrong and you need assistance. At the risk of being cliché, as in most things, when working out, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

via cheatsheet.com

 

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Recovering From Your Holidays

by Jari Love

It happens to all of us. You go on holiday, or Thanksgiving comes and goes, and you’ve made less than optimal healthy living choices. Holidays can be tough on our resolutions to keep up with our exercise and diet plans, and you can be left feeling sluggish, bloated, achy, out of sorts and maybe your clothes feel tighter than they should. The good news is you can get back to feeling like yourself quickly and back on track with your healthy lifestyle with these 5 steps: 

Step One: Shake it Off- Don’t beat yourself up for poor choices. The holidays happened, maybe you ate things from your “never eat list” or maybe you didn’t exercise when you should—you can’t change it, shake it off and get refocused. 

Make a commitment to yourself. Write it down. Tell other people. Put it in your calendar. The poor choices stop now. Instead of saying “oh well my healthy eating plan is ruined, I may as well have this brownie”, say “today is a new day. Today I am starting on the path to a new, fitter and healthier me.” 

Step Two: Drink Up- The quickest way to get back your energy is to clean out your system by flushing out the toxins and other garbage from your system which you may have accumulated. Drink lots of water this will help you restore balance, combat dehydration as well as combating any water retention. 

Start your day by drinking a tall glass of water with a little lemon, and carry a water bottle with you throughout your day. Make sure you drink even more than you normally would and get at least 10 cups of water throughout the day—more if you are exercising. 

Don’t add artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will work against your hydration efforts. To add flavor, slice fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to place in your water. 

Step Three: Whole Foods- To oppose the effects of poor eating choices you need to go clean right away. Set a goal for yourself that for the next four days you need to be extra careful about what you are eating. Eat only whole, real foods. Fruit, vegetables and some lean meat. For these four days try and avoid carbohydrates and focus on filling up with green veggies and lean meat. 

Avoid processed and packaged foods. This is a pretty good general rule for clean eating, but be particularly mindful about avoiding foods like processed meats, cheese, snack foods like granola bars, baked goods and alcohol for the next four days. 

Step Four: Juice it Up- Remember: Go Green to Get Clean. Juicing, or doing a mini cleanse can reduce the negative effects of your holiday binge. Making your own juices or smoothies with hydrating and cleansing ingredients will stop those sugar and fat cravings and re-set your body’s metabolic and digestive processes. Avoid ingredients like carrots, oranges, and tropical fruits due to their high sugar content. 

Here is a detoxifying blend to kick-start your morning—serves 2: 

  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 leaves of curly Kale
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water or ice cubes

 Step Five: I like to Move it Move it- The best way to get yourself on track and detoxify your body is to sweat it out. Head to the gym and power out a solid 30 minutes of exercise that gets your heart rate up and your body sweating. 

Follow these five steps and not only will you recover from your holiday indulgences, but you will find yourself motivated to keep pushing your limits and boost your healthy lifestyle plan.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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Foam Roller Exercises for Your Lower Body

by Jari Love

Foam rolling helps to massage the body, loosening up tight and stiff muscles, which is a must for preventing injury. Here are 7 foam rolling exercises to try after your workout. 

IT Band 

– Lying on your side, similar to a side plank position, place the roller on the outside of your thigh just below your hip.

– Place your top arm on your hip, and using your top leg for stability, roll the length of your thigh, stopping just above the knee. Go slowly, and do not roll over the knee joint. Keep your bottom leg lifted, or lower it down to the floor if you can. Chances are high that this move will be painful, which is a sign that you really need to do this.

– If you find an especially tender point, try rolling forward and back to release this spot.

– Roll for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides. 

Tip: the IT band is a thick strand of fascia that runs the length of the thigh; when it gets tight, it can pull the knee out of alignment, causing pain and inflammation in the joint. 

Calves 

– Sit on the floor with your left ankle crossed over your right, and place the roller under your right calf.

– Lift your pelvis off the ground so your weight is supported by your hands and the roller.

– Roll the length of your calf, from the back of your knee to the Achilles tendon. Do roll the inside and the outside of the muscle as well.

– Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch legs. 

Tip: pay special attention to tight spots, allowing the tension to sink into the roller.

 Glutes 

– Lying on the floor, lift your legs, and place the roller at the back of your pelvis (aka sacrum).

– Gripping the end of the roller for stability, slowly twist your lower body to the left, then to the right, to massage your glutes. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.

– Adjust your body’s position until you find the “sweet spot” or tight spot. Direct pressure will help to release knots. 

Tip: tight glutes can pull on the IT band and adversely affect the alignment of the hips and knees. 

Shins

 – Starting on all fours, place the roller directly on your shins.

– Keeping your hands grounded, roll your knees toward your hands, stopping the roller right above the ankles. A slight twist will allow you to reach the entire muscle.

– Roll for 30 to 60 seconds.

 Tip: this move is a key to preventing shin splints.

 Piriformis 

– Sitting on the floor, place the roller in the middle of your glutes.

– Using a short and steady roll, move the roller back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.

– To reach the entire muscle, adjust your position from side to side. Apply active release on specific tight spots by holding still for five seconds. 

Tip: the piriformis muscle, found under the glute max, runs laterally from the sacrum (back of the pelvis) to the outside of the upper thigh. It is small but can get really tight. 

Lower Back

 – Sitting on the ground, lift your pelvis off the floor to place the foam roller directly in the small of your lower back.

– Using your right hand for stability, roll up and down the length of your lower back for 30 to 60 seconds. Do be mindful of your spine.

– Slightly tilt from side to side to reach the entire area. 

Tip: keeping your lower back loose and limber directly affects the flexibility of your glutes and the efficiency of your training. 

Quads 

– Resting on your stomach, place the roller under the front of your thighs, lifting yourself into a basic plank position on your elbows.

– Pull with your arms to roll up and down the length of the quad. Do not roll over your knee joint.

– Continue this movement for 30 to 60 seconds. 

For images on these foam rolling exercises, visit popsugar.com.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Running vs. Walking for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

The whole question of what kind of exercise is best for weight loss or weight control is a tangled and complicated one. Does the exercise burn mostly fat or carbs? Does it stimulate “afterburn” after the workout is done? Does it leave you feeling extra-hungry so that you overcompensate by eating too much? All these factors are very hard to control in the lab over long periods of time, so there’s something to be said for “free-living” experiments, where you simply observe a very large number of people over many years and try to figure out which behaviors led to which outcomes. (This approach has problems too, of course, like distinguishing cause from correlation — no single approach is perfect.)

Anyway, that’s a long-winded intro to a new study from Paul Williams at Berkeley National Lab. He’s the man behind the National Runners’ Health Study, which has been following more than 120,000 runners going back to 1991. His latest study, just published online in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, compares a cohort of 32,000 runners from that study with 15,000 walkers from the related National Walkers’ Health Study, with an average follow-up time of just over six years. The goal: look at how much the subjects increased or decreased the amount of walking or running they did during that time, and see how it affected their weight.

Running v Walking

Of course, you can’t directly compare running and walking through time spent or even distance covered, because they’re at different intensities. Walking is typically classified as “moderate” exercise, at 3-6 METs (1 MET is the amount of energy you burn while lying around on the sofa); running is typically classified as “vigorous,” at more than 6 METs. In theory, though, you’d expect that if you compare a similar change in METs burned, the weight loss should be similar regardless of whether you’re walking or running.

That’s not what Williams found. An increase or decrease in METs burned through running produced a significantly greater loss or gain, respectively, of weight compared to the same increase or decrease in walking METs. In particular, for the heaviest 25% of subjects in the study, calories burned through running led to 90% more weight loss than calories burned through walking.

Why is this? This study can’t answer that question, but Williams suggests a few possibilities — it’s well established that vigorous exercise stimulates more “afterburn” than moderate exercise, for example. He also notes studies that have found that post-exercise appetite suppression is greater after vigorous exercise, though my impression is that some other studies have found precisely the opposite. The data certainly isn’t perfect, and I wouldn’t take this study as the “last word” on weight loss and exercise intensity. That being said, I have to admit that it makes sense to me!

Via runnersworld.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Sculpting Exercises for Troubled Areas

by Jari Love

Admit it, we all have 1 or 2 troubled areas that we’d like to focus on. But remember, spot training doesn’t work when it comes to fat loss. You can train do 1000 crunches a day and that doesn’t mean you’ll get a 6-pack. But spot training does make those individual muscles stronger, then your cardio intervals and meal planning with help shed the fat that covers your new muscles. 

But in the next couple of blogs of this series, I’ll give you some exercises for troubled areas that you can do at home or at the gym. I’ll also give you a weekly workout plan. Today, we’ll focus on Sculpting Exercises for troubled areas. For demonstrations of these exercises, check out any of my Get RIPPED videos where we use these exercises for maximum fat burn. Follow the chart below for the frequency, Intensity, Timing and Type of exercises for your fitness level. This is what personal training programs look like. 

Lunge with reverse flye (upper back, hamstrings, quads): Step one leg back, bending the knees, so one knee almost touches the floor. As you step back into a lunge, extend you arms back like wings on a plane. As you flye your arms back, squeeze your shoulder blades like they are squishing a pencil. Return arms to starting position by your hips and stand feet back together. Alternate legs. 

Modification: Seated Reverse Flye: Sit in a chair, bend forward at the hips, keep chest proud and back straight. With straight arms, extend arms out to the side and behind you, squeezing that invisible pencil in between your shoulder blades. 

Crossover squat with pullback (butt, quads, hamstrings, chest, shoulders): Imagine taking a curtsey with hand weight. So do a curtsey, with underhand grip of your weights, pull weights up to your bra line under your armpits. Step out of the curtsey, and relax arms back down to your side. Repeat on other side. 

Modification: Regular Squat with Pullback – Place feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing forward. Squat down, and as you stand out of your squat, pull the arms back up to your bra strap line. 

Single-leg squat with lateral raise (glutes, hamstrings, quads,  medial delts, core): Stand on one foot, with the other foot behind you or in front of you. Squat down on one leg, like you’re sitting on a chair. As you stand up, lift the weights up to shoulder height, keeping the arms as straight as possible. 

Modification: Supported Single Leg Squat – hold onto a chair to do squat. Do Lateral Raise separately keeping arms bent to a 90 degree angle. 

Lateral lunge with L-Raise (glutes, hamstrings, quads, medial/lateral delts): Start with feet together and arms holding weights by your side at 90 degrees. Step your left foot out to the side as far as you can into a lunge. As you lunge, keep your elbows at 90 degrees, raise your left arm to shoulder height in front of you, and your right arm to shoulder height to the right side. 

Modification: Wide Squat with L-Raise keeping arms bent to 90 degree angle. Make sure knees stay behind toes for Wide Squat. 

Push-up (chest, shoulders, back, core): Get into a plank position, with hands directly under the shoulders. Push your heels back and imagine a string pulling the crown of your head in opposite directions. Bend your elbows and lower towards the floor, keeping that strong plank position with no sagging in the hips. Bend till your elbows are at 90 degrees and return up to plank position. Repeat. 

Modification: Floor Pushup on knees, or Standing Pushup Against Wall

 Tricep Kickback with leg extension: Standing, holding weights in hands with elbows at 90 degrees. Lift your left leg back, like a leg lift. As you lift your leg, straighten your elbows, squeezing the triceps. 

Modification: Tricep Kickback on knees without doing leg extension. 

Bicep curl with knee-up (biceps, hips, quads):  Stand up, with arms holding weights at your sides. As you lift your right leg up, bend your elbows and lift your weights as a bicep curl.

 Modification: Do Bicep Curl without the knee raise. To replace the knee raise – lie on floor on your back and to alternating Toe Taps to work the abdominals 

Sculpting Intervals: Advanced / Intermediate / Beginner

Frequency: 3-4x per week / 3x per week / 2x per week

Intensity: Do 3-4 sets/15-20 reps 2-3 sets/15 reps 1 Set/15-20 reps

Time: 60 minutes / 30-60 minutes / 45-60 minutes

Type: High Intensity,3-10lb dumbbells / Body weight or3-10lb dumbbells / Body weight or 3-5lb

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

8 Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain

by Jari Love

 Back pain is the worst. The. Worst. 

And if you haven’t had a bout of back pain yet, count yourself lucky… and prepare yourself to join the ranks. It’s estimated that 80 percent of the adult population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

 I, myself, am no stranger to the pain. In fact, I’ve struggled with chronic low back pain for more than 10 years. I’ve tried everything: OTC medication, massage, chiropractic care, stretching, foam rolling and yoga, just to name a few. Most people do best with a regular pain management regimen that includes a variety of treatments, but I swear by the following yoga-inspired stretches to help keep my back limber and pain free. 

  1. Cat/Cow

 Start with a neutral spine while on your hands and knees. Take a slow breath in through your nose as you arch your lower back, stretching your pelvis and head toward the sky (Cow Pose). Breathe out slowly as you reverse the movement, tucking your pelvis under as you look toward your navel (Cat Pose). Each breath should last a count of three. Continue alternating between Cat and Cow for five full repetitions. 

  1. Child’s Pose

 Start with a neutral spine while on your hands and knees. Shift your hips back over your heels and stretch your arms forward as far as you comfortably can. Relax into this pose as much as you can, allowing your pelvis to feel weighted, sinking into your heels. Hold for 10 seconds, then shift forward onto your hands and knees (you can even shift into Cow Pose if you’d like — arching your back and tilting your pelvis up) before sinking back into Child’s Pose again. 

  1. Downward Dog

 Start with a neutral spine on your hands and knees. Then, begin by tilting your pelvis up toward the sky, and push through the balls of your feet as you lift your knees from the ground, pressing your hips up to the sky as you slowly straighten your arms and legs as much as you can. Allow your head to hang loose between your arms. If your hips, low back and hamstrings are tight, you may not be able to straighten your legs all the way. Do what you can and try “pedaling” your legs back and forth for a deeper stretch on each side by bending one knee, then the other, as you straighten the opposite leg as much as you can. While you do want to press your heels toward the ground, they do not have to touch down. 

  1. Plank

 A strong core can help prevent back pain — and the plank is one of the safest exercises to perform while experiencing back pain because it doesn’t require movement to be effective. Simply form a straight line from your head to your heels. You can start with your knees and forearms on the ground, holding for just 10 to 30 seconds at a time. As you get stronger, try the exercise with your legs extended or in a high plank position. Work your way up to holding each plank for a full 60 seconds. 

  1. Cobra

 Cobra helps strengthen the lower back while maintaining flexibility in the spine. Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched behind you. Place your palms on the ground, in line with your shoulders, but in front of your chest. Breathe in through your nose as you press lightly through your palms and tighten your back to lift your chest and shoulders from the ground. Hold for three seconds, then lower slowly as you breathe out. While your palms act as support, you should actively engage your back to lift your chest upward. Repeat the exercise five times. 

  1. Figure 4

 Figure 4 does wonders for stretching your hamstrings and hips, both of which can contribute to low back pain. Lie on your back, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your right foot from the floor and cross it over your left knee so your right hip rotates outward. Lift your left foot from the floor, bringing your left knee toward your torso. Reach your hands around your left thigh to help pull it toward you and deepen the stretch. If this feels comfortable, use your right elbow to press your right thigh away from your body, then begin to slowly extend your left knee, straightening your left leg as much as you can. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. 

  1. Happy Baby

 With a soft mat or thick towel beneath you, lie on your back, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees in toward your chest, lifting your feet from the ground. Grasp around the outside of your feet with your hands, pulling your feet down toward your body (your knees should remain wide as you do so). Hold this position, stretching your low back and hips, then start rocking slowly from side-to-side to lightly massage the muscles surrounding your spine. Maintain the position for 30 to 60 seconds. 

  1. Easy spinal twist

 Maintaining the flexibility of your spine is incredibly important, even when you’re hurting, but if the idea of overzealous twisting makes you want to run for cover, I don’t blame you. The easy spinal twist is truly safe for everyone — just make sure you listen to your body and only twist as far as it will allow.

Lie on your back, your arms stretched out to the sides, your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor. Look over your left shoulder, then allow your knees to “fall” to the right as far as is comfortable (in a controlled fashion) while keeping your left shoulder anchored to the ground. You should feel a nice stretch through your left hip and low back. Hold for five seconds, then rotate back to center before repeating on the other side. Perform three to five sets. 

via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Eat Real Food for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

Most people think that weight loss comes from giving up the foods that they enjoy and that staying skinny means never enjoying eating out again. While some dietary modifications are necessary for success, you hardly have to stop eating for pleasure. There are a few tips that will let you bend the rules a little more and still succeed, and we’d like to share them with you.

Meat Isn’t the Problem for Weight Loss

While more doctors are advising that you should eat less meat, only a few are saying don’t eat it all. Much of the issue with meat being linked to illness comes from pollution that animals absorb when they live in factory environments, not from the meat itself. Even the famous vegan doctor Michael Greger cited carcinogens from industrial environments, not the meat itself, as the cause of disease.

The solution to this issue is simply to eat more local meats and just moderate your portions. Meats do provide protein and iron in large amounts. Grass-fed beef is far richer in nutrients and is easier to digest.

Sweets Are Not the Problem for Weight Loss, Either

Natural sweeteners are an excellent replacement for processed sugars, just don’t heap them onto your food. Honey is an excellent sweetener that is also known to help loosen sinus congestion. So is maple syrup. Cookies can be made with raw cane sugar and can also be sweetened with natural molasses.

For Weight Loss Whole Grains Are the Best Choice for Breads and Cereals

Did you cringe when you were advised by a diet plan to eat a hamburger without the bun? Then forget you were ever told that. We already know that meat isn’t the problem, you just want to have a better burger.

So go ahead, grill that quarter pounder, and serve it on a good quality, wholegrain bun. Whole grains undergo less processing and retain more nutrients. Buns made from whole grains typically aren’t enriched with chemicals, but read the label to make sure.

Cereals made from whole grains are available in every grocery store. They are nothing new, and nowadays, they are so popular that you can easily find a cereal that is not only healthy but tasty. Wholegrain cereals that include natural berries, raisins and other sweet fruits are fine. The fruits add a bit of flavor and help you absorb the iron.

Whole Foods Make Your Body Work Better

Weight loss isn’t just about cutting calories and carbs. A lot of times, people are a bit overweight just because their bodies are slow to metabolize foods. Processed foods move more slowly through your system and waste byproducts back up. This slows you down and makes you feel lethargic.

Whole foods digest quicker and your body doesn’t have to do as much work to process them. As a result, you can lose weight just by eating better-quality foods and not having to count calories all the time. You do still need to moderate your portions, but the RDA labels on most foods will give you the information you need.

Look At the Food Labels and Plan Accordingly

If your recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates is 300 grams a day, just look at the labels of foods you are eating and see how many carbs you’re consuming. Check the labels for a few days, or maybe a week and take a few notes. Then make your daily plan according to the recommended daily allowance. All that’s left to do is just make sure you eat a fun-enough variety of foods so that you’re still enjoying life.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Are Egg Whites the Best Protein Choice?

by Jari Love

If you want to get healthy, then you will need to consume a high-protein, low carb diet. Many people associate protein with chicken or lean beef, and they forget that there is something that offers an even better source. Egg whites are the best source of protein and have been recognized for their quality nutrient value. Each egg white that you consumer has about 3.6 to 4 grams of protein in it. That should immediately tell you this is a good source of food for you, but that isn’t the only reason.

Egg whites contain numerous different nutrients that your body needs, including niacin, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, copper, folate, and riboflavin. So, when you eat an egg white, you are essentially taking a multivitamin, only one that is natural and better for you. In fact, egg whites offer the most complete source of protein that you can find. They have amino acids that will help you remain healthy too. These amino acids will ensure your body is able to use all of the protein in the egg white by supporting healthy tissues, building up your immune system, and helping your cells produce enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that your body needs for a healthy metabolism, and as you know, when your metabolism is higher, you will be able to lose weight more easily.

Additionally, when your cells are producing enzymes, then you will have healthier hemoglobin. That is a protein that is found in the blood and that works to transport oxygen to the rest of your body, including organs and tissues.

Egg whites offer all of this, and they only have about 17 calories. As you can see, they have a lot to offer, and, they can be used as a base for so many other foods and recipes that you will easily be able to work them into your healthy diet.

When you start working on your health and weight, you have to consider ensuring you are getting enough protein. There are different protein options, but none of them can quite compare to egg whites. These whites are healthy for you, chock full of nutrients, low in calories, and full of the proteins that your body needs. They are a complete source, which is different from other proteins that you could choose, making them the very best option available for your healthy diet.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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