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Plank It! Part 1 Planks on the Total Gym - YouTube

If you had to choose one exercise that conditions, strengthens, and tones every muscle in your body, planks are it! It’s a total body exercise that strengthens multiple muscles simultaneously and gives your body the biggest bank for its hard work!

Planks require no equipment and can be done virtually… anywhere! Plus, there are many variations to challenge any intensity level. It’s a ‘go to’ exercise that accomplishes many beneficial properties for the entire body too.

MUSCLES WORKED

Since the plank is a total body exercise, it strengthens multiple muscles at once. A regular plank practice not only develops strength in your abdominal muscles, but it also provides spinal support for daily activities.

  • The primary muscles involved include: rectus abdominis, internal/ external obliques, transverse abdominus, erector spinae (lower back muscles), gluteus medium and gluteus minimus.
  • The secondary muscles include: gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, ankles, spine, joints of the shoulders & hips. These muscles and joints work synergistically to stabilize, mobilize, and support the muscles being activated during the exercise.

When executing the plank properly, every muscle is ignited and works together to maintain the body’s horizontal position.

BENEFITS OF PLANKS

There are many amazing things that will happen within your body when you include planks to your daily regimen.

Improves Core Strength

Your core is activated in the daily movements you perform. Bending, lifting, turning, reaching- your core is engaging! The core supports your spine and protects you from injury. This is why developing core strength, stability, and stamina is so important.  Holding a plank position requires you to engage all the core muscle groups (transverse abdomens, rectus abdomens, internal/ external obliques, and erector spinae, and pelvic floor.) When core strength improves, everyday tasks become easier and athletic abilities improve too!

Reduces Back Pain

The plank exercise requires minimal movement while activating all layers of the abdominal muscles to strengthen the anterior and posterior sides of the core. The strength developed helps reduce lower back pain.

Strengthens Posterior Side

Planks strengthen the core on all sides of the body, which includes your lower back muscles. Strengthening the posterior side of your body helps reduce low-back pain and contributes to better posture!

Improves Flexibility

Plank-work not only builds strength, but it also increases flexibility. Basic planks do this by expanding and stretching the muscles around the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and the arches of the feet and toes. When performing a side plank with the top arm extended by the ear, the obliques, IT band, lat, shoulder and tricep are stretched.

PLANK FORM

Proper form is essential when performing a plank correctly. This will ensure you get the most out of the exercise and prevent any injury from occurring. When performing a basic plank with arms extended, follow these guidelines:

  • Assume a quadruped position (all 4’s): Place the palms of both hands on the floor directly under your shoulders with the fingers pointing towards the head and the knees bent at 90 degrees directly under the hips.
  • Keep the arms extended long with your shoulders relaxed and retracted away from your ears.
  • Transfer the weight into your arms as you extend the legs long behind you to assume a ‘push-up/ plank’ position.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Keep your hips, head, and shoulders aligned without dropping.
  • Engage the core by drawing your navel to spine at all times and breathe! By drawing in your navel, you begin to contract the inner transverse abdominal muscles.
  • MODIFIED: Use the same set up as above, except instead of extending the legs, keep the knees on the floor to form a straight line to the head.
  • Hold the full plank or modified version for 10 seconds to start. Increase the duration depending on what you can withstand keeping proper form. (It’s better to maintain proper form for shorter time periods rather than struggling though longer durations with improper form.) Eventually you will be able to hold for an extended period of time without sacrificing the positioning.
  • Repeat as many sets to increase your core strength and stamina.
  • Practice planks daily to improve at a rapid pace.
TROUBLE SHOOTING

If you feel any lower back pain, your hips could be dropping which creates an ‘arched/ swayed’ back. Try to realign your spine by slightly tucking your hips under and draw the navel upwards or modify the plank position by dropping the knees to the floor and work from here until your core strength improves.

Planks are anything but easy, especially when done with proper form. This incredibly popular exercise should be part of everyone’s workout routine.

INCLINE PLANK ON THE TOTAL GYM

The Total Gym will assist you to achieve an incline plank (feet at base, head towards the tower) by using the glide-boards incline level. The higher the incline, the easier the plank will be to achieve. The lower the incline, the resistance will be harder since the incline angle is closer to the ground.

Choose an incline that allows your body to perfect its form first before lowering the angle. This will develop your core strength and stamina along with your wrist and upper body strength. Modify by lowering your knees to the ground or onto the glide-board at any time.

Here’s a fun workout for you to try …

INCLINE PLANK WORKOUT

Because planks are one of the best exercises to condition your entire body, I’ve created a circuit workout composed of 5 Incline Plank variations that you can perform on your Total Gym.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Choose an appropriate incline for your fitness strength. Change the intensity by lowering or raising the incline at any time.
  • Perform the following plank variations in circuit form, one after the other, with little to no rest between exercises.
  • REPS or TIME: Aim to perform 10 REPS of each exercise or choose a set TIME to perform each exercise. (ex: 20, 40, 60+ seconds)
  • SETS: 1-3 SETS depending on your workout timing. (suggested 2 SETS)
  • Conclude with a post workout stretch to recover and stretch the muscles worked.
  • GB = Total Gym Glide Board
  1. Incline Plank
    • Place hand on glide board and feet at base. (an open GB is more challenging)
    • Hold this position to develop strength and stamina.
  2. Push-Ups
    • Open the glide board and place hands on each side.
    • Modify with a closed GB or keep knees resting on the GB.
    • Lower into a push-up by keeping elbows close to the body and letting the GB move down the rails as you lower.
  3. Pike-Up
    • Assume the plank position with the GB open.
    • Push the GB up the rails.
    • Pike the hips upward and slightly close the GB while keeping the torso, arms and legs elongated. (body forms a triangle position)
    • Return back to starting position and repeat.
  4. Plank Slides
    • Assume a straight arm plank position with the GB open.
    • Lower to the forearms as the GB moves down the rails.
    • Return to the straight arm plank position as the GB moves back up the rails.
    • Maintain an elongated
  5. Mountain Climbers
    • Assume a plank position with the GB closed (modified) or open (more challenging).
    • Alternate knees towards the arms. Change the knee angles to challenge different core muscles.

Check out the video to see how these incline plank exercises are performed and how you can incorporate them into your next workout routine.

PEACE, LOVE, & PLANK OUT

Planks are one of the best exercises to boost your fitness level.  They will condition, strengthen, and tone every muscle in the body. So, challenge yourself and add planks into your workouts to build up your inner core endurance, stamina, and strength.

Stay tuned for more planks from a decline position. In Planks- part 2.0, I will highlight more plank benefits and provide another workout that can be integrated with the incline versions.

Get your plank on!

Best,
Maria

www.groovysweatstore.com

@GROOVYSWEAt

The post Plank It! Part 1 – Planks on the Total Gym appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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The term cryotherapy is used to refer to any type of therapy that involves the use of cold temperature for treatment. It has been used for many years in Japan and more recently in the Western countries. Thus, cryotherapy can be used to treat a variety of ailments.

Topically liquid nitrogen, which is in a liquid state of minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit can be used to treat skin lesions by using sub zero temperature to deaden skin lesions and thus causing the deadened skin to later flake off.

Locally, ice can be used to treat soft tissue injuries by the local application of frozen items. The theory behind the use of ice and similar products has to do with the effect on the blood flow that is brought into the injured tissues. Normally, after we sustain an injury to our bodies, blood enters into the injured area and carries with it white blood cells, which not only help to fight infection but also help to bring inflammatory substances into the area in order to promote healing over time. In the first stages of healing however, the inflammatory response can cause more swelling in in migration of more blood and fluid to the injured area. The idea behind the use of ice after an injury has to do with the effect on blood vessel and the constriction that occurs once the ice is applied to the area. The effect of vasoconstriction limits the blood flow to the injured area and thus minimizes the influx on inflammatory substances, as well as white blood cells.

Cold temperatures have also been theorized to promote weight loss due to the effect that cold exposure has on your body when you shiver. When your body is exposed to cold temperatures, it responds by causing you to shiver which generates body heat by the movement of small muscles. The theory is that this increase in muscle movement leads your body to burn up more calories. In fact, in more recent times, spas have taken to using cryotherapy to not only promote weight loss but also to improve skin tone and boost moods. The theory behind the enhancement of moods has to do with the idea that cold exposure causes a release of your bodies adrenaline and endorphins and causes your heart to pound stronger and faster which can be invigorating, to say the least. The idea is that your mood can benefit from the release of these hormones after exposure to harsh cold.

Because of this capacity of your body to respond to cold exposure in the ways that it does, there is now a newer therapy that is called Whole Body Cryotherapy. The therapy exposes your entire body to temperatures as low as negative 200 degrees Fahrenheit for anywhere from two to four minutes. This type of Cryotherapy has been used in China since the 1970s to treat such conditions as multiple sclerosis as well as rheumatoid arthritis. Over the past few decades, western societies have been utilizing this modality to minimize muscle soreness in elite athletes. The idea is that by cooling the body down quickly after vigorous activity, there will be less blood flow into the areas of your body that may have suffered micro injuries during the sport. With less blood flow to the injured areas, there will be less inflammation after the event and less swelling which ultimately can lead to faster recovery and less pain and stiffness after the rigorous event

The bottom line is that these theories are still being clarified and the actual results of these treatments need further study. It may make sense to use cold therapies after aggressive work outs or sports events as long as there isn’t tissue damage that can occur if the cold exposure is prolonged. It remains to be clarified as to what actually qualifies as “too long”. Stay tuned as there is a lot of new information coming out all the time about this innovative approach to recovery.

The opinions shared in this article are those of the contributor and not Total Gym Direct.

The post Cryotherapy: Does It Work and Why appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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Easy to Pack and Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Ideas - YouTube

Saving time is just as important as eating healthy when it comes to packing lunches and snacks for the day. You can’t always find fast, convenient, or healthy options at a deli, or grocery store let alone a fast food restaurant. Plus it is expensive to buy lunch every day! Take an hour on a Sunday morning (or whatever day is best for you) to prep and you will have a grab-and-go lunch for the whole week!

Here are a few of my grab-and-go ideas:

Stuff Mini Peppers

Quick stuffed mini peppers are a fast and really neat way to pack a snack! I actually think it makes a great idea to serve at a party. The possibilities are endless with what you can fill them with. These are stuffed with different types of cheese, cucumbers, husk cherries (baby tomatillos) and egg salad. Just use what you have already in your refrigerator!!

Chicken Salad

I literally just threw this chicken salad together with ingredients that I already had. I chopped up some Kalamata olives, roasted red pepper from a jar, and red onion, added Feta cheese, fresh basil, dill, and parsley (only because I had all three!) salt and pepper to taste, and drizzled on some extra virgin garlic olive oil and some lemon. You can just use Italian salad dressing if you want!!

Use what you have for chicken salad. If you have some leftover cooked veggies, by all means add it! Use any kind of dressing such as Caesar, blue cheese, French, whatever! Use your imagination and your leftovers! Chicken salad doesn’t have to be with mayo and celery. How boring!

Scrambled Egg Wraps

These egg wraps are so versatile. I like to make a bunch of these and keep them refrigerated in a zip baggie. Just scramble some eggs with a little salt to taste and ladle enough into a medium heated pan (use cooking spray) and swirl it around until the bottom of the pan is coated with the egg. Let it cook for a minute until it is set enough for you to flip it. After flipping it takes only 30 seconds or so to finish cooking. Remove from the pan and start over until all the eggs are used. I made three out of two eggs in an 8X8 square pan. You can use a round pan if that is all you have. You can also make them as big as you like! Just remember to work quickly. Once the pan is heated up the egg takes no time to cook so make sure you spread it around fast. Once they are cooled you can fill them with anything! I used deli ham, cheese, pickle, mustard and roasted red peppers. Fill them as you would a sandwich!

Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzerella Balls

Cherry tomatoes are abundant any time of the year! I love them as a snack especially with mozzarella cheese. I found cute little pearl mozzarella and used those along with some pesto. If you are making lunch instead of a snack, add some rotisserie chicken! Chicken and pesto were made for each other!

As you can see it really is easy to make healthy lunches and snacks for the week. An hour of prepping on the weekend will save you many hours during the week. It also saves money and gives you full control of what you and your family is eating.

The post Easy to Pack and Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Ideas appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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My name is Jenny Nelson, and I am a 36-year-old wife and mom living in the Arizona desert. I’d like to say my fitness journey began early on in life, but that’s not the case. In fact, in my adolescent years, and into my 20s, health and fitness was not even on my radar. In 2007 I was pregnant with my first (and only) child, and I gained a little over 70 pounds. In 2008 I gave birth to my daughter, and I expected the weight was just going to just fall off. That didn’t happen. I was a stay at home mom, who became more sedentary, and who’s nutrition choices were awful, so the weight stuck around. In 2012 I decided that it was finally time to turn my life around, lose the weight and get healthy. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Initially I joined a large gym, but that didn’t work out for me for multiple reasons. Being a stay at home mom to a small child meant “me” time was limited. I struggled to even make it to the gym. When I could go, I felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable exercising in front of so many other people. I just couldn’t stick with it.

I remembered a piece of exercise equipment my mom had when I was younger, the Total Gym. I decided to buy one for myself and see if it could help me reach my goals. Well, with enough consistency (I was able to work out when it best fit my schedule) and hard work (I was comfortable enough to “give it my all” at home) …it did! I used my Total Gym faithfully, combined with a couple other things, and over time I not only lost the weight I had gained during pregnancy, but I got in better shape than I was in before having my daughter! I would be a liar if I said I haven’t also tried many other tools in my fitness journey, but they have almost all ended up falling to the side except my Total Gym. It is the one piece of equipment I have continued to use all these years. Why? Because it’s the one tool that I have found most effective for reaching whatever goal I have. Initially that was weight loss. After the weight loss, my goal eventually shifted to sculpting muscle, and Total Gym is successfully helping with that too. On my schedule, all from the comfort of my own home!

Thanks for reading my story. For those interested in my personal favorite Total Gym workouts, I highly suggest Rosalie Brown’s “Cardio Free” workout on YouTube as well as her “Cable Core” workout on Total Gym TV. Also, a workout I created (below). I hope you enjoy it!

Jenny’s Workout
  • Plie Jump Squats
  • Pull Ups (first round narrow grip, second wide, third underhand)
  • Glute Bridge to Hamstring Curl using the squat stand or Pilates stand
  • Single Arm Chest Sweep (side sitting on board)
  • Single Leg Squat Jumps
  • Back Rows
  • Chest Press
  • Hamstring Curls (on board using pull up attachment or wing bar for feet)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Lying Overhead Tricep Extensions
  • Cable Overhead Shoulder press

12 reps each move. By 12th rep, you should be struggling to finish but not struggling so much you’ve lost proper form.
Repeat 3 times through. In between moves, while “resting” do something to keep heart rate from completely dropping. I jog in place on my Cellerciser (mini trampoline).

Follow me on Instagram @healthy_happy_housewife

Workout developed by a Total Gym user, not a fitness professional.

The post Total Gym Addicts, Jenny’s Story appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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Total Gym Exercises To Strengthen Your Midsection - YouTube

Did you know that your core is supposed to be the strongest muscle in your body?

No other part of your body is as important as your core because it controls every single movement that you make throughout your day.

Most people have heard of the word “CORE” or “MIDSECTION” and they immediately associate it with solely the abdominal area of the body. But in reality, your abdominal area is only one quadrant of your actual midsection. Your midsection has several components to it that exists but the primary and most popular way to describe your core would be the abdominal area, your lower back area, your oblique’s, your muscles surrounding your pelvis, and your glute muscles.

When strengthened correctly, the midsection can do some pretty amazing things for the body such as:
  • Improve Your Posture
  • Eliminate Lower Back Pain
  • Improve Your Balance
  • Improve Overall Strength
  • Improve Range of Motion on Various Movements
  • Improve Your Stability
  • Lessen Your Risk of Falling
  • Improve Your Flexibility
  • Improve Your Sexual Experiences
  • Improve Your Dance Moves
  • Improve Your Athletic Performances
  • Improve Your Workouts
  • Improve other everyday activities such as vacuuming, mopping, dusting, squatting, getting dressed, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, riding a bike, swimming, walking, bathing, etc.

Not sure if you noticed it or not – but as you were just reading the list of ways that having a stronger core can improve your life, did you notice that appearance was not on the list?

Don’t get me wrong – having a nice firm midsection or completely toned set of 6 pack muscles look great and can really boost your confidence, looks are not everything and is considered more of a bonus. Having a strong midsection is more about improved quality of life and getting the most out of your body. Like the old adage says, “If you do right by your body, your body will do right by you.”

Having a strong midsection can benefit anyone, no matter what age or current fitness level they are at. This is especially true for women since having breasts can lead to bad posture which makes having a stronger core even more important. And if you are a woman who would like to have a baby sometime in the future, then another bonus to having a strong core before you even get pregnant is that your body will bounce back quicker after giving birth AND you may even be in labor shorter and push out your little bundle of joy quicker!

I know that after reading all of that, you must be extremely excited about hopping onto your Total Gym Fit RIGHT NOW to start toning up those core muscles and reaping those amazing benefits. So, if you are looking for some quick and simple workout ideas for your midsection that you can implement into your routine today, then look no further than the 5 exercises below that we came up with that you can do on your Total Gym Fit 2 – 5 days per week so that you can see and feel results in no time.

5 Midsection Exercises For You To Do On Your Total Gym Fit Row Up & Down aka “Cheese Grater”:

Facing the Total Gym Fit, stand on your tippy toes in the incline push-up position with one hand on each side of the slider. Be sure to grab close to the bottom of the slider to ensure that you have plenty of leverage and full control. Next, you raise the slider up as high as you can towards the top of the Total Gym Fit, then you lower it slowly towards your feet. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and repeat the exercise to complete the set. Please be careful with this exercise and make sure that you remain in the incline push-up position throughout the entirety of the exercise while making sure that your butt is not too high or too low. (3 Sets of 15 Reps)

Plank Hold

Start with your body in a horizontal position with your weight on your toes and your palms face down on the seat of your Total Gym Fit. Keep your body as straight as possible and make sure the midsection is not positioned to high or too low. Hold this position for 30 seconds. (Complete 3 rounds of a 30 second hold and work your way up to 60 seconds for each.)

Knee Tucks

Position yourself with your knees on the seat of your Total Gym Fit and your arms fully extended holding onto the foot platform. With your arms fully extended the entire time, lower the seat of your Total Gym Fit with your knees driving downward towards the floor and then quickly driving the seat back up towards the top of your Total Gym Fit to complete one rep. Please Note: When you are on your Total Gym Fit performing this exercise, it is very important that your knees are the only moving part of your body and that nothing else is moving the entire time of your set. (3 Sets of 15 Reps)

Glute Bridge Lifts

Lie on your back with your knees bent, your arms by your sides, and your feet on the seat of your Total Gym Fit. Elevate your hips by pressing your weight down in your palms and in your feet. Focus on squeezing your glutes and driving your weight down through your heels into the seat of your Total Gym Fit and raise your body up and down to complete the first rep. (Complete 3 Sets of 15 Reps)

Leg Raises

Lay flat down on your back on top of the seat with your arms fully extended above your head to grab onto the hand grips of the Total Gym Fit with your hands facing one another. With your arms fully extended and your body stretched out, begin to lift your legs up simultaneously as high as you can to form the letter “L” out of your body, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set. (3 Sets of 15 Reps)

The post Total Gym Exercises To Strengthen Your Midsection appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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How To Deal with Post Travel Sadness - YouTube

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

Perhaps this is one reason why returning from a vacation or a long voyage abroad brings a sense of post travel sadness. When removed from your ‘normal’ everyday life to set off on a journey somewhere new, it brings a sense of peace to your inner soul. You also tend to see things differently and appreciate the world from a new perspective. The unique experiences become a part of your heart forever.

FEELING THE BLUES

Post travel blues is a really interesting topic and something most don’t discuss. Perhaps it relates to those who have been on an extended journey around the world and had to live minimally out of a bag from remote locations. It could also relate to an extended weekend or a week’s get-a-way with family or friends for a vacation to a beach, the mountains, or even a cruise. When you think back to all the pre-planning and excitement to come … in a blink of an eye, it’s over.

Regardless of a short getaway or an extensive trip, returning to your ‘normal’ life again can be tough! You almost need another vacation for recovery! The point is, time away teaches many lessons on life and yourself, which is bittersweet. How you deal with adapting back into reality and integrate the lessons learned post travels is what matters.

POST TRAVEL DEPRESSION (PTD)

Post travel blues does exist and can affect everyone. It’s a feeling of depression or anxious mood that holiday makers often experience towards the end of a trip or once you’ve returned home. Post travel depression can affect your mental well-being by feeling dissatisfied with your life, returning to your reality, and can produce tears. It can last for several weeks or months unless you understand the indicators, learn ways to cope, and move beyond the symptoms.

CAUSES OF THE BLUES

There are a multitude of reasons why we feel depressed after a vacation. Travel is beneficial to our health in so many ways. It’s a time to escape from the everyday norm to rest, relax, enjoy, explore, laugh… this list is long. However, there are valid reasons for feeling the blues when returning and reasons why it’s so hard to adjust back into your normal way of life. One main reason this occurs is because travel is transformative.

Here are some post travel depression symptoms you may experience:

  • Sadness: saying goodbye to people, places, and things you enjoyed
  • Exhaustion: constantly being on the go to see, do, and experience
  • Lack of motivation: not sure where or how to start reality again
  • Nostalgia: knowing you cannot return to the past and it’s a once in a lifetime memory
  • Resigned: returning to a routine and picking up where you left off
  • Reverse culture shock: getting used to home again
  • Financial shocker: paying all the bills and extra expenses
  • Where to now: Immediate response to plan the next trip

These symptoms of depression can also include the following feelings of anxiety, irritability, mood swings, headaches, over or under sleeping, inability to concentrate, increased desire to be alone, feeling ‘stuck’ and loss in interest in things you usually enjoy. It takes time to settle in when you get on vacation and will also take time to unwind when you return.

TRAVEL EMOTIONS

For those of you who don’t know, I LOVE traveling and exploring the world. It’s one of my passions in life along with fitness. It fuels my soul with love for life and teaches me so many valuable worldly lessons. I never knew there was an actual condition of travel depression until I went through it too. I first had to understand what was creating this sadness and then learn how to cope with why I felt so down from returning from a magical high.

Post travel depression is a feeling that not all can relate with nor is it something you can easily explain to others, especially if they are not regular travel goers. For example, have you ever wanted to share an experience with someone and in mid story, they change the subject as if you were done telling your tale?? You may feel the ‘lack of interest’ vibe so you end up keeping it all to yourself. It’s best to share travel stories with other like-minded travelers who can relate.

If you have ever felt this feeling and didn’t understand why you were so low after such a high, know you are not alone and there are ways to keep your spirits uplifted.

PREVENT THE ‘SLUMP’

Luckily, I have discovered a few things that have helped me recover from returning home from a trip and ways to prevent a post-adventure slump. Here are a few ways that have helped me stay positive and active in my mind, body, and spirit. Hopefully these will help you too.

Prepare for the Blues

This may sound like such a total downer, but you may feel worse once you’re home from vacation. The time away passes so quickly and then it’s back to everyday reality again. Just the mere thought of returning home may cause anxiety or sadness. Therefore, if you prepare for it and know you may feel a bit blue, it will be easier to cope once you are home.

Journal Each Day

Journal daily to keep the memories fresh. You may think you will never forget, but it’s the little moments that refresh your memory of the experience that took place in time. The sites, scenery, foods, activities, new cultures, people, laughs, cries, and ah-ha moments become your story. Keep it fresh in your mind so you can look back and remember the details.

Make a List & Keep Adding to it

Take time to come up with a concrete list of things you want to accomplish when you return home. It could be simple to-do’s or activities you want to achieve. When in a different environment, it’s easier to focus on what matters most in your everyday life. Making a list can keep you accountable to stay on task when you return home. Be sure to continually add to this list to keep evolving.

Stay Active

Movement lifts the spirits, releases endorphins, and creates a natural high. Most people are more active on vacation. When you return home, make an extra effort to stay active and keep the adrenaline pumping. Walking around the block may not be the same as walking on a beach, but… it’s movement and this will combat sadness by keeping your mind and body in motion.

Be grateful

Be grateful for what you experienced and reflect on those moments anytime you start to feel down.

TOTAL GYM DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY WORKOUT

Upon returning from your travels, get right back on your fitness routine. It will help clear your mind and keep your body in motion. Use this workout time to reflect on what you want to accomplish for yourself, make a plan, and get back into life’s action!

I’ve created a unique series of dynamic stretches that actively stretch your muscles through different ranges of motion. These stretches can be performed in a flowing sequence on your Total Gym to combat post travel sadness. It’s relaxing yet dynamic. It’s effective for your muscles to stay limber and it will set you up for success for the activities you love most.

Directions:

Perform these stretches in a dynamic series to lengthen and recover tight muscles.

  • Hold each stretch for at least 10- 30 seconds OR dynamically move through the stretch to feel a different sensation where the muscle(s) are tight by moving the glide board or your body
  • Move slowly with supporting muscular control and stability through each stretch. We all have different flexibility strengths and limitations. So, honor them!
  • Turn on your favorite tunes and flow with your breath into the stretches!
  • Repeat the sequence as many times as you’d
CABLES Seated Chest/ Shoulder/ Torso Opener
  • Sit straddling the glide board and facing away from the tower with the cables in each
  • Open the arms to each side and keep the torso elongated as you hinge forward to open the shoulders, chest, and
  • Hinge forward and slightly arch the back to feel a different angle of the
  SQUAT STAND Gliding Figure 4
  • Lye supine with both feet on the squat stand and the glide board
  • Bend one knee and place the ankle onto the supporting thigh to form a “figure 4”.
  • With control, slowly lower the glide board into the stretch and dynamically rotate the lower body into different angles to open up the hip where your body needs it
Torso Rotation
  • From the Figure 4 stretch above, the lifted leg will twist across the
  • Shift the hips to one side of the glide board and hold on that side with one hand to brace your
  • Gently press the lifted knee down with the opposite hand to feel the stretch in the leg, hip, and
  • Dynamically roll into different angles to feel the stretch where you need it
Dynamic Runners Lunge
  • Face away from the tower and stand at the bottom
  • Place the hands on the top of the squat stand and the inside leg into a kneeling lunge on the glide board. (The supporting leg in line with the )
  • Keep the hips square to the front and press the glide board open with straight arms to feel the hip flexor and quad stretch. (This is a kneeling lunge )
  • Gently the glide board up and down the rails to feel the stretch where you need it
  • Option: bend the kneeling knee and grab at the ankle to feel a quad
  • Dynamically move through different ranges of motion to feel the stretch in tight
REMOVE SQUAT STAND Dynamic Inner Thigh
  • Stand at the bottom base positioned to the
  • Place one foot on the glide board and lower into a lateral lunge keeping both feet facing the (The supporting legs is bent to 90 degrees and the leg on the glide board is straight.)
  • Place the hands inside the leg on the floor for support. (Use a lifted object such as a yoga block or stool to accommodate )
  • Slowly open the glide board to feel the inner thigh and groin
  • While in the the stretch, dynamically roll the leg through various ranges of motion to achieve different flexibility

Check out the video to see how these dynamic stretches are performed on your Total Gym.

Take in all that you learn from your travels and about yourself, then apply your wisdom in all that you do. It’s the actions you take to progress your knowledge and skills that ultimately matter.

Sending travel love,

Maria

The post How To Deal with Post-Travel Sadness appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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South Hamptons Sweat Event - YouTube

Southampton was alive with a fitness vibe on Sunday, August 5th at the Southampton Arts Center. This year the event was hosted by the stunning Christie Brinkley and her beautiful daughter Sailor Brinkley-Cook. They rocked the show by showing their love and enthusiasm for health, fitness, and wellness by bringing together an energetic crowed to sweat together and experience what full body health is all about.

ENERGY

People of all ages and fitness levels filled the event to learn, experience, and of course sweat. The energy was contagious as the music beats led participants through various trending workouts on the art lawn. The classes were taught by various trainers of a particular expertise so that participants could experience various types of workout. The sun’s heat was strong, but it didn’t stop those in motion. In fact, it made the Sweat Fitness event hold to its name… sweaty!

SHOWCASE

In addition to the incredible workouts, many local and New York City vendors participated to showcase their studios, programs, products, new fitness modalities, and sample trending equipment. The Total Gym FIT model was part of the show and was a huge hit to demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of the equipment.

This was the first appearance for the Total Gym FIT model to appear in a fitness expo setting. Typically, it’s showcased online, on TV, or via the famous infomercials. Total Gym is making the shift to bring this model to more people in today’s modern world. It’s apparent that it’s a special piece of fitness equipment for the home user and also for apartment complexes, boutique studios, and work settings. The ease of the exercises along with the quick transitions into multiple movements make the Total Gym award-winning to accomplish an effective workout in minimal time to reach specific goals.

TOTAL GYM’S HIGHLIGHTS

The set up started bright and early with the sun’s rays beaming down. Mark and I were the proud Total Gym trainers representing at the event. We set up and arranged two FIT units while we jammed to the bumpin’ beats pumping from the sound stage. The Sweat event was titled right- because it was one hot sweaty mess for all!

The energy was contagious as fitness was in the air! Attendees arrived at 9 AM to either take part in the first class held on the lawn or to browse through the participating vendors. Mark and I demonstrated, educated, explained, and led non-stop sessions for attendees to experience the magic on the equipment.

The Total Gym FIT units caught the eyes of many. There was a high demand to experience a mini workout and understand how it worked. Attendees lined up to give it a go and wanted to keep going! I knew once someone experienced a few exercises on the FIT unit, they would absolutely love it and want more of it!

The event wouldn’t have been the same without the special appearance of Christie and her daughter Sailor. They arrived to the event around 11AM looking stellar and fit as ever. Everyone was thrilled to witness their radiance and ongoing support for promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Christie and Sailor spent time with us at the Total Gym booth by sharing their love for the equipment to others. Christie mentioned how she loves the versatility, comfort, ease, and effectiveness that the Total Gym provides. Sailor is a follower of her mother’s footsteps and is also sporty, fit, and full of energy. It’s clear that exercise along with a healthy lifestyle work towards the longevity of a healthy life. These dynamic stars are living proof!

Mark and I were proud to share our expertise and love for such a diverse piece of fitness equipment. This event opened the eyes to many people who had never seen or had the chance to experience what the Total Gym is all about. It was wonderful to see the enjoyment in first time users on the equipment and hear the positive feedback in how they loved the feel of the movements.

The Total Gym is truly one of the best fitness tools for home users, apartment gyms, and even the work environment to effectively train hard in minimal time. Once you learn how to accommodate the exercises for your goals, it becomes the one stop tool you can integrate into all fitness modalities. In today’s modern world of busy lives, it’s about convenience and effectiveness to get the job done.

GRAND FINALE

There’s no doubt this one day Sweat Fitness event was a hot hit to open the gateway to promoting fitness and wellness. Special thanks to Christie and Sailor for hosting such a successful event and having Total Gym be a part of the magic. We look forward to attending other events so that more people can experience the effectiveness of the Total Gym and spread the word that it can be in your home too!

Be sure to check out the short video with Total Gym’s highlights at the Sweat Fitness event.

Sweat your heart out!

Maria

www.groovysweatstore.com

Social media: @GROOVYSWEAT

The post Total Gym Southampton Sweat Event Recap appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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Increase Strength and Conditioning to Elevate Your Game

The US Open tennis tournament is around the corner and which means the hardcourt tennis season is officially here. Given the season takes place during the summer time this means high temperatures and challenging conditions. For some who may compete in tournaments and league play being physically prepared can really pay off especially when matches are close and lengthy. I have watched numerous tennis matches over the years from recreation to professional levels and several times the fitter player came out on top. Tennis is a physically and mentally demanding sport and the healthier and stronger you feel off the court can really translate to your confidence on it.

The reason I like utilizing the Total Gym for tennis is that the machine allows for low weight bearing exercises which is very beneficial when spending time on the hardcourts. The body can really start to feel the effects of this surface over time so it is important to train and maintain solid body strength to keep playing for years to come. Let’s take a look at some specific exercises on the Total Gym to keep our bodies strong and healthy for that next three set tiebreaker close match.

Dynamic Leg Warm-up Exercises
  • Lie on the glideboard with head fully supported.
  • Place both feet on squat stand and lift one leg in the air.
  • Draw medium size circle in the air while pointing toe. Perform one set of 10 in each direction
  • Grab behind thigh point and flex the ankle. Follow by circling the ankle in each direction 5 times.

 

Leg Exercises for Overall Conditioning

 (Target muscles groups: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves)

  • Disconnect the pulley from the glideboard, push the glideboard halfway up the rails, and slowly straddle the rails while sitting towards the bottom edge facing away from the tower.
  • Place your feet toward the top of the squat stand, positioned shoulder width apart, and slowly lie back ensuring your head is fully supported.
  • Slowly lower the glideboard by bending both knees and hips to around 90 degrees.
  • With a neutral spine continue to bend knees while squatting, lift arms up and down by sides while lifting shoulder blades off the glideboard. Perform two sets of ten to twelve reps with a short break in between.

 

Bridge Squat to Strengthen Glutes (Target muscles groups: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, gastrocnemius)
  • Disconnect the pulley from the glideboard, push the glideboard halfway up the rails, slowly straddle the rails while sitting towards the bottom edge facing away from the tower.
  • Place your feet toward the top of the squat stand, positioned shoulder width apart, and slowly lie back ensuring your head is fully supported.
  • Slowly lower the glideboard by bending both knees and hips to around 90 degrees.
  • Press the feet into the squat stand, tuck your chin into your chest, and slowly raise glute and hips into a bridge position. Ensure the knees track over the feet throughout the movement.
  • Perform two sets of ten to twelve reps with a short break in between.
Cardio Pull with Variations (Target muscles groups: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, latissimus dorsi, pecs, biceps, gastrocnemius)
  • Grasp handles to bring glideboard halfway up the rails.
  • Facing away from the tower, straddle rails and sit toward bottom edge of glidebaord.
  • With tension in cables, place both feet on squat stand and slowly lie back, ensuring head is supported by glideboard.
  • Bend elbows and bring handles to shoulder height with palms facing inward toward each other.
  • Simultaneously pull hands down to the shoulders and press feet into squat stand. Distribute the force evenly between upper and lower body throughout the exercise.
  • Add variation by kicking feet out, drawing knees into chest, and keeping feet in the air for bicycle move.
  • Perform two sets of ten to twelve reps with a short break in between.
Roll Up with Dynamic Stretch
  • Push the glideboard halfway up the rails, slowly straddle the rails while sitting towards the bottom edge facing away from the tower.
  • Place feet at the bottom edge of the rails, sit tall with hips tucked under, with shoulder blades relaxed and away from the ears.
  • Roll back reaching back towards the tower, lift from the waist, while rolling forward reaching for the ankles and toes.
  • Perform one set of ten to twelve reps.
Seated Row with Movement Variations (Target muscles groups: latissimus dorsi, trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids, biceps)
  • Grasp handles and pull glideboard halfway up rails.
  • Straddle rails and sit towards back edge of the glideboard facing the tower.
  • With tension in cables, extend arms directly toward pulleys, and lift both legs onto the glideboard extended toward the tower.
  • From an upright seated position, lower the chest towards thighs, while hands extend forward towards the feet.
  • Maintain stable trunk as hands return with control back to the starting position.
  • Add variation by placing both handles in one hand, pull handles straight back, and drive the opposite arm across the torso. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Perform two sets of ten to twelve reps with a short break in between.
  • Pull-up with Variations (Target muscles groups: latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, biceps, brachialis)
    • Disconnect pulley from glideboard and stow the handles.
    • Lower LAT bars into the pull-up position.
    • Facing the tower, straddle the rails, and push glideboard halfway up the incline. Lie prone with chest positioned near top edge of glideboard and grasp the LAT bars palms facing down.
    • With a solid grip, slowly bring the legs onto glideboard.
    • Keep the chest in contact with glideboard, pull elbows toward sides of torso until hands level with the shoulders. Slowly control glideboard down the rails back to starting position.
    • Maintain the neck in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
    • Add challenge by releasing one hand from the LAT bar and continue by performing a unilateral pull-up. Repeat on the opposite side.
    • Increase variation by holding on to the LAT bars and momentarily releasing both hands at the top of the motion.
    • Grasp LAT bars and decelerate glideboard down rails in a controlled manner.
    • Perform two sets of ten to twelve reps with a short break in between.
    Time to Cool Down
    • Single thigh stretch. Perform on each side.
    • Single inner though stretch with arm overhead.
    • Upper back stretch seated on the glideboard.
    • Upright supine with arm movement.
    • Standing waist circles. Perform in both directions.
    • Standing knee circles. Perform in both directions.

    Was this Total Gym tennis post helpful for your game? Send us a photo or email, we would love to hear from you!

    Keep moving,

    Cara

    The post Total Gym Exercises for Hardcourt Tennis Preparation appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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    Total Gym Pulse by Total Gym Direct - 1M ago
    Easy No Cook Dinner Recipe - YouTube

    We are all so busy these days, sometimes cooking dinner just seems too overwhelming to think about. You don’t have to cook to have an easy, but nutritious meal. Here is the basic recipe for my Bean salad. Everything is to taste and I never measure so there is no exact measurements for the ingredients.

    Beans are so healthy and inexpensive. I always have a variety in my pantry along with canned chick peas. You can literally throw anything you like into this salad and it will come out delicious! It’s a good way to use up those leftovers in your fridge!

     

    Recipe

    – 1 can chick peas
    – 1-3 cans of any kind of bean that you like. I love black beans, roman beans and pinto beans. I always have them in my pantry.
    – Drain and rinse and put them into a large bowl.
    – Dice some bell peppers and throw them into the bowl. I love the colorful ones.
    – I love finely chopped jalapeño too!
    – Dice some crunchy vegetables such as celery, carrots, jicama, edamame, or whatever you have on hand. Use cherry tomatoes and cucumbers if you plan on eating this within a couple of days
    – Red onion is a must for me because it is milder and prettier than a yellow onion. Scallions are good too.
    – A clove or two of fresh minced garlic depending on how much you make. Raw garlic can be overpowering so not too much. Salt and pepper to taste.

    For the dressing:

    – Sprinkle in some vinegar (any kind) or lemon, lime juice.
    – Add some olive oil or you can use any kind of vinaigrette salad dressing.
    – Taste it and adjust the seasonings….and that is it!!! Easy, right?

    Here are some variations that you can try:

    – Add diced leftover ham, cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, kielbasa, cooked sausage, boiled eggs, cubed cheese, canned tuna or salmon.

    Make different themes like:

    – Mexican…hot sauce, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and a squirt of lime.

    – Asian…use sesame oil instead of olive oil, soy sauce instead of salt, or use an Asian salad dressing.

    – Mediterranean…fresh or sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, fresh basil or mint, lemon juice.

    The list goes on with your imagination. Have fun with it!! You really can’t mess this up and no cooking required!

    The post Easy No Cook Dinner Recipe appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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    Did you know that essential oils have amazing properties in them that can help your workouts and even motivate your mood? Essentials oils have played a huge part in my personal recovery time in my own workouts. I use the essential oils eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender after every workout and they actually soothe the muscles and some, like capsaicin, can even stop pain signals.

    I apply the essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Coconut oil will help take away any extra heat that might happen when applying essential oils directly to the skin. Personally, I take 1 tbsp of coconut oil and 5-8 drops of an essential oil. I then will massage the mixture into any muscles I would like to recover quicker or that are tender from my workout.

    The other way to use essential oils is to help motivate your mood pre-workout by inhaling them. I like to take rosemary or eucalyptus essential oils and place a drop or two in the palm of my hand. Rubbing the essential oils in I then cup my hands and carefully bring my hands to my nose. Taking deep breathes of the essential oils will help motivate, awake, energize, and really improve your work out.

    I personally love to start each day with this routine. Not only do I find it helping my workouts but I feel I can accomplish more throughout my day. How do you use essential oils in your everyday routine? They’ve been a game changer in my workout regimen.

    The post Follow Your Nose, Essential Oils that Can Motivate Your Mood and Help Your Workout appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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