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Thursday, March 31, 2011

April is Almost Here!

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting one exercise per day to help build that competitor sleek body.
Who is this good for: If you are a competitor, you want to train toward a competition or you may just want to shape your body like a competitor even though you are not going to compete.
Uses: Other than sculpting and shaping the body into a bikini masterpiece these exercises are great for conditioning, fat loss, lean muscle tone and spot shaping.
Take competitor prep to the next level with some of these new and innovative training techniques which can be done at home.
30 exercises in 30 days
HAVE FUN learning how to work towards 1 arm pushups, pull-ups and chins!!

I will be targeting six muscle areas:
1. Glutes & ham glute tie
2. Legs (inner, outer, thigh leaning, ham smoothing for cellulite decrease)
3. Delts, focused side delts for X frame
4. Arms
5. Abs
6. Upper Body (bringing out that X frame)
I hope you are able to join in! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Click this link and 'like' my fitness figure page to follow along!
I will be featuring a new training exercises and meal ideas. Follow along via Facebook & Twitter (@FitnessFigure) 

Training for a Figure Body

The Regular Girl Dreaming of achieving that Figure Competitor Body

Read my article in Hive

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Boxing Exercises: Jab, Punch & Kick Your Way to a Leaner Body

Boxing Exercises - Jab & Punch Your Way To A Leaner Body
Did you ever realize how winded you can get with shadow boxing. Of course if you have a heavy bag you can boost that by a few notches but even just shadow boxing can give you an excellent all body workout. Buy yourself a skipping rope which will run you under 10 dollars. Use this for a warm up trying to begin with non stop skipping for five minutes to start, working up to 15 minutes within 4 weeks. There are several recipes toward making your own heavy bag which can be found on the internet if you wanted to prepare things so that you have a bag ready for when you are ready to advance in difficulty. There are also great deals on heavy bags all the time from those who just don’t use theirs or who have to move and need the room. I would suggest craigslist as a place to start.
If you have joints which do not appreciate the impact of skipping, try doing it on a track surface or soccer field which will soften the impact. I also suggest you do not jolt or jerk the joints during your punches, keep them controlled and never lock out the joints.
For your shadow boxing you will focus on combining 5 basic movements on the left and right side. Make sure to alternate sides frequently to keep the training balanced.
  • Jab
  • Cross
  • Punch
  • Uppercut
  • Bodyshot
A jab is a short fast compact hit compared to a punch which comes from the power of full extension. Jabs are used to confuse and distract so normally you would precede any punches with some jabs, alternating left and right. The arm never really fully extends on a jab, it’s like a fast hit with a quick pull back.
A punch is thrown from the core with body coming forward and driving hips. Stance will always be with one leg forward and one back, in a comfortable lunge being aware to switch them and keep moving at all times. Knees should always be softly bent allowing you to swivel and duck.
John McCurdy
A cross is thrown wide from the side with elbow out. During all punches the other hand is up protecting the face and between all punches you are protecting the face, elbow in and head tucked like a turtle. Use your obliques when you throw your crosses.
Chase Inglalls vs Karim Pahalloo
Upper cuts come from the legs and squat with fist driving up for the chin or gut. Shoulders will bob up and down on these again working the core and also working middle back.
Body shots are lower shot variations of the above, which were all head shots. With body shots you want to drive with the lats. Breathing properly through this training is essential. Drive the bodyshots as if your fist were to go straight through the person.
Now try combining these with one of each or picking four and trying one of each per side, two of each per side, and other combos. I would repeat combos at least five times each per side consecutively. You should be surprised how quickly time flies when doing these combos. Before you know it you have completed 20 mins and have a tshirt soaked with sweat.
Make sure to stretch after your session and hydrate appropriately.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Linda Cusmano's Competition Prep update 3/15/11

Hey everyone,
I am prepping for a contest mid July so I figured it is time to get the personal vid blogs in!
I can let you know how prep is going along the way with some clips and pics!
Thanks for all the support!!!
Feels like coming out of hibernation after taking the year off, a bumpy year at that.
I am loving getting leaner and seeing muscle mass, tone, firmer curves!
The food part is subtle but my hardest part is cutting down the pepsi........this week, I fell to the obsession......its a special week so I can cheat a bit but I got my training in~

Today I did 1900 reps. The head judge said I need to tone down my legs so that works well with me not being able to lift heavy with squats or deads anyway so I am testing my muscular endurance with high reps today, 100 reps for 19 exercises hitting each muscle group at least twice, breaking legs down further.......only took me an hour and feels great to feel the muscle and the work as I type right now!! I ended with cardio and am keeping up 20-30 mins 3-5 times per week with intense spurts throughout.
Its also routine time.....I hope to have it all learned by end of month!


Survivor Workout - Strength Training For Speed & Agility

Survivor Workout - Strength Training For Speed & Agility
There won't be tribal buffs nor voting but you will be put through a sweat! This is a strengthening program which targets muscular endurance, agility, speed and coordination. The balance of these training modules will enhance toning and fitness overall.
Similar to the Survivor challenges you will go through different stations and do so with form being the first priority then speed. Being the fastest in this workout does not win you any prizes but could cause you injury so I cannot stress enough how important it is that form is put before speed. My suggestion is to do this in a park which has a child section of jungle gym.
Stations may include but are not limited to: monkey bars, ladder handles to travel by hands and upper body strength, balance beams, child swings, zip line, slides, park benches, chains, and hurdles.
These are some of the things you may see at playgrounds and they can vary in shape or size but be creative!
Here is your obstacle course, now some ideas on how to use it. You can order them in any way you wish and add things such as squat leaps, tuck jumps, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, crunches and pushups in between each stations or wherever you wish to place them. Do these for a certain number of reps or seconds. Go through the stations as fast as you can with good form. Sprints and shuttle runs are a nice variation to include.
Monkey bars can be used in three stages depending on your fitness level. You can go across once for beginners, go across then turn around and return for intermediates or advanced and go across then back along the monkey bars backwards. You can also use these and single bars for chin ups and pull-ups. Sometimes you don't find monkey bars but do have the hanging handles which need a bit more coordination.
Balance beams which are only ½ foot or so off the sand are another option you can find at some parks which are great for running across forward, backward and shuffling across sideways. Another use would be to hold the beam with two hands and hop over and back with both feet. You can use the beams as hurdles for parks without hurdle stations.
Child swings are great to hop through and back while holding the chains, keeping both feet working together in sync. Swings make lunges harder by keeping the front foot on a swing. Zip lines are not at all parks but use it if you have it, great for a quick break then as you get off you move on to the next station. An ab station after a zip line is a nice blend.
Try getting up the slide from the bottom, excellent thigh and upper body work as you hold the sides with hands and feet.
Use park benches for step ups, dips, push ups and two foot leaps onto the bench in repetition. Chains which hang lateral are good for lateral travel across and those which hang vertical are good to use for upper body climbing.
Remember to warm up and cool down at the end with stretching of the muscle groups worked. 30-45 minutes of this workout and you will be a Survivor too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Basic Fitness Equipment to Build Muscle & Increase Strength

Basic Fitness Equipment To Build Muscle & Increase Strength
There are several workout equipment pieces that everyone should keep on hand at home. These are all pieces which can be traveled quite easily with convenience. No matter your fitness level, no matter how light or easy your training commitment is everyone needs to have a few minimal items in order to maintain an active lifestyle toward optimal health. No need to break the bank either because these workout equipment pieces come with very reasonable price tags with ease in availability.

My first choice is the body ball. You may think weights would have been first but you can do so much more on a body ball just with body weight to get you started and keep you going so because of this I feel it nicely falls into first choice. Body balls can also allow you to progress your exercises from a beginner level to advanced level training. For example you can use a body ball to help you learn to do pushups by lying over the ball and keeping it at your midriff making the pushups much easier. As you accomplish this over a few weeks until it is easy you can then slowly advance the ball slowly over time toward you feet until you end up doing pushups with feet on the ball which is an advance exercise.

Body balls can also help you accomplish a good clean squat making it easier for you to lower while keeping knees from falling inwards. You can keep feet slightly forward to ensure the knees are always over the ankles and not creeping past the toes. Combined with resistance pieces such as bands, dumbbells, water bottles, and medicine balls you can really push your training to new levels and all done at the convenience of your home or on a warm day you can take it to the beach or park. Traveling this stuff with you to a track or area outdoors allows the option for cardio intervals which would really maximize your session.

Exercise bands fall into second place. They are lighter to travel than dumbbells yet still add excellent resistance to your workout. They also offer much more variety than the dumbbells for exercise choices. I purchased the Bodylastics set for a client and for myself at Christmas time and it is amazing how much use this system gets from myself, my family and my clients. They come with bands which can be attached to handles or ankle straps and you can use combinations of the bands to increase the weight resistance. The set comes in a convenient sac which velcros closed and has a door attachment so that your bands can be anchored enabling you to do exercises such as lying leg curls, multi hip extensions, lat pull, rows, vertical pressing and tricep pushdowns. The package is affordable and shipping is not too bad if you live in the US. I am in Canada but even so it was still worth it in shipping costs.

Dumbbells and a bench are the final pieces on the list. You can use the body ball as a bench in many ways but once you want to get heavier you need to upgrade to heavier dumbbells and an incline/decline/flat bench. These benches are so useful and are also affordable. An upgrade from here would include a small squat rack and Olympic set, which works will all the equipment you have accumulated; of course you want to ensure there is a pullup bar on this rack too!

Now we are talking some serious weight training. If you were to being at the top and over a year or two work your way down this list while training the whole time at home you would have progressed nicely into an advanced fitness level and be very happy with the results, ready to go beyond them!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Belly Dancing: Fun Exercise to Burn Calories & Get in Shape

Belly Dancing - Fun Exercises To Burn Calories & Get in Shape
Are you getting bored of your current workout routine? Is it still too cold outside to play outdoor sports or change up your cardio routines? Consider an indoor activity that'll get your body shaking!

Over the past few years belly dancing has grown in interest with lessons becoming more readily available. In gaining popularity, like pole dancing, it has become an exercise class being introduced into the gyms. A fun form of exercise and sensuous art, there are many muscle groups triggered when doing the belly dance movements in repetition. Core is one of the areas which are stimulated by belly dance exercise. You can attain some nice vertical lines down the belly by incorporating this exercise into your regular workout program. Eliminate boredom by using this class to shock your system and stimulate more results especially if you are stuck in a rut and not seeing changes to your body but training hard. The body tends to respond best when you change things up every so often forcing it to adjust in turn showing fat loss, strength and other positive body changes.

The gyrating movements enhance partial squat positions; firm, core controlled rotations and extended arms also moving in a very controlled manner. In order to accomplish such fluidity and smooth transitions you must engage many muscles which include the ‘helper’ muscles not just those directly related to the movement.

Balance and coordination are also enhanced by belly dancing. The joints and connective tissue benefit greatly and in turn become much stronger and tolerant. This all equals slowing of aging. Typical issues such as the onset of various arthritis conditions or just the simple bad knee, back or hips will be prevented by doing some activity such as this.

Practice variations starting with a simple clockwise then counter clockwise hip revolution. Make sure your knees are slightly bent with knees NOT falling inward. Keep head, shoulders and chest up and use a mirror to work on making it look pretty! Control your timing with music to ensure you do not speed through the movements. Belly dance skills are done with upmost control and form which means you practice a lot and do not expect to get it right away unless you are well coordinated already but know that the challenge of each movement and the hours you put in for practice will all equal fat loss and conditioning results positively.

Once you can work with the hips more fluently then you can experiment with some arm and hand movements to enhance the workout. This will add more calories burned to your total and work with shaping and toning the arms, shoulders, back and chest.


Progress the time spent on the activity so that you are doing what you can tolerate safely but are adding time each sessions even if just a minute, so that you can comfortable do 45 minutes to an hour. The next progression after that would be to up the intensity and maybe add a few new movements with kicks or squat motions mixed in.
Fancy body waves can be so much fun to learn, for the 80s babies it can also add some flashbacks!!! Make sure to take a good fun attitude to this class because it will tickle your tummy with giggles as you and the other classmates experience some good clean fun.