Kick start the New Year by getting on the right track to keeping your resolutions. Most people choose to get healthier and a great way to start out right is to try something new for 2015. Stay motivated by doing different exercises to reach your goals, or to stay focused on your fitness. Doing the same thing day after day can lead to boredom and even giving up on your routine all together.
Try some of these fitness trends for 2015.
Body weight training. With tight budgets, body weight training can be the way to go. Because it does not require a lot of equipment, body weight training can be an inexpensive way to whip yourself into shape.
High-intensity interval training. A workout that calls for short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short recovery time. It is very efficient in burning calories and building muscles.
Strength training. Strength training includes body weight, resistance tubing, free weights and weight machines. Everyone can benefit from building stronger muscles and bones while controlling their weight and increasing their energy levels.
Personal training. A personal trainer will help design a custom fit plan tailored to your wants and needs as well as being your personal cheering section when you achieve your steps and goals.
Exercise and weight loss. Joining programs that combine exercise and weight loss might be a good option for you if you are trying to lose inches off your waist as well as tone your body. Look for programs that emphasize the important balance between healthy eating and exercise.
Yoga. Yoga continues to be a favorite in the fitness community. There are so many different options to try with all the different versions available.
Group Personal Training. Training two or three people at the same time in a small group is becoming a more popular solution when looking for more individualized attention then you get in a class, but without the higher cost of one on one session with a personal trainer.
Outdoor activities. Getting outside for some exercise will bring more benefits. Get outside for hiking, skiing, running, skating, the possibilities are endless.
Circuit training. A group of 6 to 10 exercises that are completed in a sequence is circuit training. It is similar to high-intensity training, but is performed at a lower level of intensity.
Core training. This type of training focuses on strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, thorax, and back by exercising the hips, lower back, and abdomen. You can use equipment such as exercise balls, BOSU balls, wobble boards, and foam rollers.
Boot camp. More and more men and women are favoring this military style training that will include cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility drills. This is great if you like intense, highly-structured workouts.
Try all or some of these 2015 fitness trends to get you on your exercise goals for the New Year. You can even refer back to this list as the year goes on to try something new when you feel you need to change things up to keep you motivated. Happy New Year!
A new year, may mean a new workout, something to freshen up your drive to get out and get exercising. Hot fitness trends for 2014 include high-intensity interval training like CrossFit and P90X and body-weight training such as push-ups, pull-ups and planks. Also, yoga is expected to get even more popular. A more detailed list of the top 10 predicted fitness trends is listed below.
The Top 10 Fitness Trends Predicted for 2014
High-intensity interval training, which involves working out as hard as you can for a short burst of time, followed by a short, less-intense period, jumps to the top of this year’s list. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.
Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
Kettlebell workouts are definitely one of the hottest fitness trends on the rise right now. Developed in Russia in the 1700s, kettlebells are just starting to gain real momentum in Western gym culture. Kettlebell training can reduce pain in the neck, shoulders and low back by improving their strength, can help you burn additional calories than a workout without them, and can increase your aerobic workout.
Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility).
Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.
Personal training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.
Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
Functional Fitness. This trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.
Group Personal Training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering more group training options. Training two or three people at a time makes economic sense for the trainer and the clients.
Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. Includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.
If you’re bored with your usual fitness routine, spice it up. Try something new. Keep yourself excited to continue to exercise to help you boost your weight loss.
What’s hot in the world of abdominal and core training today seems to change as fast as the latest clothing styles. New gurus, new infomercials, new machines – today’s fitness marketplace is all about “what’s new.” I often write reviews about the latest, greatest ab and core training gadgets, usually debunking most of them, but this time I’m actually going to do the opposite.
As new products push their way into the fitness scene, some truly legitimate, cost effective devices get pushed out, forgotten, or even worse – dismissed as “fitness fads.” Such is the case with the swiss ball (also known as a “exercise ball”, “gym ball” or “stability ball”)
Why Some Fitness Experts Condemn The Swiss Ball
Swiss balls have been around a long time in physical therapy and rehab settings and when they crossed over into the mainstream fitness world, they were probably hyped a bit too much. It’s not that they didn’t deserve the attention, its that many fitness “experts” placed the swiss ball up on a pedestal as the end-all be-all of abdominal, core and fitness training, rather than representing the ball for what it really is – a single training tool among many- just like barbells, dumbbells, cables or any other fitness equipment.
As a result, entire training systems were built around the swiss ball (neglecting other forms of training), and people misused and overused the ball. Some trainers used the ball for “exercises” that were nothing more than circus acts. I’ve seen it all – everything from standing on top of the ball and squatting to bench pressing on the ball with 400 pounds..
As a result of the over-hyping and misuse of the swiss ball, some coaches and trainers have recently spoken up and publicly renounced the ball as a ” gimmick.” This has caused a flood of emails to pour into my office as consumers and fitness enthusiasts have become more confused than ever.
It’s no wonder: Trainer A says, “The ball is the best thing since sliced bread” and trainer B says “the ball is and always was a gimmick.” I believe the ball is a very valuable training tool and that the truth is somewhere in the middle, so I’d like to help put things back into proper perspective.
Swiss balls are powerful, portable, inexpensive and versatile training tools
I use swiss balls nearly every day in my own workouts and in workouts for my clients. The versatility of the swiss ball is simply unmatched as proven by the fact that I can use a swiss ball to help a 65 year old sedentary woman overcome muscle weakness and improve balance or use the same ball to help a professional boxer build stamina and add power to his punches. I can also show you how to use the swiss ball to develop “six pack abs” as well as train literally every muscle in your entire body.
New Research Reveals That The Swiss Ball Can Make Abdominal Exercise Up To 104% More Effective
To give you a research-proven example of just how effective a swiss ball can be, let’s focus on one of the most basic and well-known of all abdominal exercises: The Crunch
As most people know, the crunch is a modified (partial) sit up that involves raising the head, neck and shoulder blades up off the floor. Many personal trainers believe that the crunch is highly overrated and overused. I won’t argue, as I agree there’s a lot of truth to that. However, the crunch can be greatly improved with one simple change: Do your crunches on a swiss ball.
Electromyography (EMG) studies have demonstrated that the swiss ball crunch (unstable surface) effectively recruits more muscle fibers than the floor crunch (stable surface). This leads to greater strength, stability and muscle development in your core region.
In 2000, a study by Vera-Garcia and colleagues showed a significant increase in muscle activity in the core area while performing a crunch on the swiss ball, as compared to a floor crunch. The swiss ball improved the level of muscular activity as well as the co-recruitment of spinal stabilizers. The researchers said:
“Performing the curl over the gym ball with the feet on the floor doubled activity in the rectus abdominis muscle, and activity in the external oblique muscle increased approximately fourfold.”
Although research results have been mixed in the past, the studies showing no increase in abdominal muscle activity using a swiss ball may have been due to the exercise technique used on the ball, including velocity and body placement on the ball. Earlier this year, Dr. Eric Sternlicht and colleagues at UCLA designed a study to test this hypothesis and they measured for differences in muscle activity while using different positions on the ball.
The EMG analysis confirmed their hypothesis and demonstrated that body position on the swiss ball could decrease or increase the amount of muscular activation. When the ball was positioned with the upper back high on the ball (just below scapulae), the muscular activity was less than a floor crunch. But by strategically positioning the ball so it was firmly placed at the lower lumbar region, there was a 66%, 93% and 104% increase in upper abdominal, lower abdominal and external oblique activity, respectively.
More Proof That Form Is Everything And Little Things Make A Big Difference
For years I have preached about proper form on all abdominal and core exercises and I have taught my clients “little tweaks” and “tricks” in technique that look minor, but which can lead to huge improvements in results. This new research is proof. It also reveals how the ball is a versatile tool for exercise progression: The high on back position is easier, while the ball lower on the back is more difficult, accommodating for different strength and fitness levels. Further progression can be added by using resistance (dumbbell or weight plate held on chest or at arms length from chest).
Swiss balls are only one of many training tools, but in my opinion, when used properly, they are one of the best of the bunch. I created an entire core training system that uses the ball for many of the exercises, I put all my clients on swiss balls and I highly recommend that you use the ball as well. Just remember, the swiss ball is only a tool – it’s not the “end all be all” of core training and it can’t work miracles. It will also not burn fat off your stomach – you need a caloric deficit to achieve body fat reduction.
Use the ball as one part of a balanced training program that includes other tools such as free weights, cables and your own body weight. Forget the potentially dangerous “circus act” swiss ball stunts, use good exercise form, purchase only quality, high-strength exercise balls, use them in a clear area, clean them often, check them for leaks and I promise you will have a fantastic versatile training aid that will last you for years and never go out of style. Fitness fads will always come and go, but the swiss ball is still a winner.
Coach David Grisaffi,
About the Author:
David Grisaffi majored in physical education and is a certified high performance exercise kinesiologist with the CHEK institute. David holds a total of 6 certifications, he is a high school wrestling and baseball coach as well as an independent trainer and strength coach, known especially for his work with professional boxers and golfers. David is the author of Firm And Flatten Your Abs, an online best seller which teaches you how to lose body fat and develop “six pack abs’ while improving strength, function and athletic power at the same time. You can contact David or learn more about his programs at www.flattenyourabs.net