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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Workout Wednesday Posture Program

Proper Posture

Work and play are all affected by your state of posture. 
Postural training is one of the most difficult things to keep up.
Many individuals slack off calling them boring and tedious but
there are ways to train some essential posture elements in a
short period of time.  Keeping your chest well stretched in one
key factor.  The following are excellent yet easy exercises which
anyone can do.  If your new to training or have injuries
please consult your physician, show them this page and see if
they approve you for this training.

Prone Thumb Raise - in this photo I am using some dumbbells
but I suggest you start with none, put your thumbs up,
and try that first.  Key points here is to keep hips, feet,
and forehead on the mat.  Great for lower traps and back in general.
Perform 2-4  sets of 10-20 reps done slow and controlled. 
Try to keep dumbbells from resting on the down phase.

Rhomboid Squeezes - as the above, I suggest you try this
without weights to begin as it is not as easy as it looks.  For both
exercises try not resting the hands until you perform a set
10 reps or so.  These really pull your shoulders back!

Take note that elbows stay in the ‘bowed’ position throughout exercise.
Perform 2-4  sets of 10-20 reps done slow and controlled. 
Try to keep dumbbells from resting on the down phase.

Proper alignment - when doing most floor exercises
(such as crunches) where you are facing up (supine),
you want to make sure, unless otherwise stated, to keep your lower back
planted into the ground, unlike this photo!
Photography courtesy of Bill Henning.
Thanks to Sport Central for use of their Fitness Facility.

This article has been published in several Bodybuilding and Fitness Magazines.

Linda Cusmano is an Elite Trainer and Pro Fitness Champion
To learn more about her or send her an email go to:

(C) Linda Cusmano


Monday, March 13, 2017

Meal Plan Monday 'CARBS'

One of the macronutrients that seems to confuse people is carbohydrates.  

The information out there can be difficult to decipher and apply to yourself so it can be hard to understand that most times the information is not right or wrong, its relative.

Almost everything I share has the basis that everything is relative to your needs.  You apply what works for you and others apply other things that work for them but none of you are wrong and not everything works for everyone no matter how science lays it down.

The factors that affect a persons make up, fitness and nutrition are too numerous to list and can change over time.

The GI index is a great tool to help you choose the right carbs for complex, simple or a combo.  The downfall I find is that it can be overwhelming and confusing for some people who rather not get into the science details and tend to plan and think more simply.  So today I am not going to get into the GI index although if you are a keener, I do suggest doing a bit of a search on it and getting familiar.

Do I need carbs, do we need carbs as humans, how much carbs do we need?  

These are loaded questions that cannot be answered in a blanket fashion.  Generally yes we need all macros balanced accordingly and further personal to our need ranges.
How much carbs and the type you want to eat is the real question.  That depends on your needs, goals and fitness level at the time you are asking this question and applicable only to that point.  You may need to adjust this over months as your body and goals change.  Higher endurance lifestyle and sport needs more complex and starchy carbs in tandem with simple carbs and sugars.  Slower moving individuals in life and fitness would go for longer lasting complex carbs in reasonable portion.
Those with health issues affecting blood sugar and metabolism have to look at carbs, with some individuals needing to use discretion or cut them and others needing more and specific types at specific times per day.

Even with general fitness, weight loss or muscle gains, carbs are prevalent.  Cutting carbs is many times not needed as there are other ways to get the same effect with the right plan and timing but cutting them drastically or out completely seems to be the path many feel is easiest for them.  The result though, can leave you stringy, soft and lacking umph.

The safest way to gain permanent results is to take in the right carbs at the right times consistently. Match this with your exercise regimen and you're set.

If you are seeking muscle gains and leaning, go for produce, dark green leafy green, cruciferous, alkaline and diuretic vegetables.  Fill up on this and eat them at every meal.  This is why you will typically see green beans, asparagus, cucumber, kale, spinach and the like, in fitness menu plans seeking drastic body sculpting or fat loss.
Fruit on these diets general stay with a serving or 2 per day and with berries being so full of nutrients they are a popular choice.
On this type of menu you need clean starchy carbs such as quinoa, yams or sweet potato, rice cakes, or legumes for those who are tolerant such as edamame, lentils and black beans.

If you are of a higher metabolism you can afford mulitgrain pastas, higher amounts of fruits but will need to combo these to keep energy level right.  You stay on the leaner side and need to fill muscle as well as eat larger portions.

Greek yogurt is an excellent high protein carb that works well with almost any fitness goal menu plan.

Here is a typical idea for a lean menu focused on fat loss while retaining muscle with a few tasty recipe samples from  I chose a mix of recipes, some gluten free, some vegan and some mainstream.  With a slight bit of thought you can really work your options based on this layout idea.  Add variety by personalizing and tweaking the food and meal choices.

For Custom menus made just for you visit


Middle Eastern Western Egg Sandwich


Creamy Pea Soup with Lemony Spirulina Pesto


Apple Cider Braised Chicken with Parsnips and Kale


Vibrant Veggie Bundles with 4 Ingredient Sweet Sour Dipping Sauce


Creamy Cashew Mushroom Stroganoff

(tip- use spaghetti squash and string or spiral cut zucchini in place of noodle or use ancient grain and higher protein noodle choices)


Blue Majik Banana Nice Cream

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rebounder Blast Off MiniTramp Training

Theres a silent little piece of workout equipment that has snuck into homes for many years.  To this day many are still in homes and its actually a tool that is still sold but never really talked much about anymore.

Remember the Rebounder?  The mini tramploline used for low impact cardio work enhancing strength, agility, balance and coordination in a fun way.
On occasion I need to give a client a program for their rebounder and today I am going to share one with you, for those who have one of these and do not really know how to apply some variety into your rebounding fitness program.

On a side note - those of you who do not have a rebounder but have a Bosu, can apply this with a few exercise adjustments but additionally, this can be done feet on the ground without any equipment.

Custom programs are ready for you,

Blast Off Program
1 mins jog
Air turn 180
30 secs jog
Air turn 180
30 secs jog hovering on each hit
Air turn 180
30 secs jog
Air turn 180
1 min rear lunge pu left
1 min rear lunge pu right
1 min jog
Air turn 3x90
1 min high knees
Air turn 3x90
1 min jog
1 min high knees hover on each
Double bounce high knees 2x per leg
Left side squat x10
Lateral hop over to right side
Right sides squat x10
3x lateral hop over
2 mins jog
1 min tuck jumps
2 air turns 180
4 jax
3 air turns 90
4 jax hover

*2-5 mins to pace about as you should keep moving, stretch, sip water, and wipe sweat.......repeat program once more.

I will be referring to single and double bounce which is like a single or double beat.  This is when you bounce once or twice in the particular exercise.

This is when you will try to stay in the air and hold for a brief second rather than immediate submission to gravity

Air turn
This is when you turn 90, 180 or 360 degrees in air- either clockwise or counter.

Low knees, low bounce and easy pace.

Rear lunge power up
With left leg step off back of rebounder then bend knees to lunge, power back up with the right leg and bounce up off that leg while the left leg takes knee up, then land with the right leg with control onto the tramp while the left leg again goes back into a lunge set up and repeat.
I will specify which leg to do for how long, in the following rebounder workout.

High knees
This is like the jog but you have to bring the knees up high.

Side Squat
You will step off the rebounder to the left or right side as specified then squat wide.
Lateral Hop Over
You would start off in the side squat position, left leg on rebounder with right leg on ground, bounce up landing with right leg on rebounder and left leg on ground and so on back and forth laterally over the rebounder.  It’s like a hop over with a foot switch.

Tuck jumps
This is where you bring both knees into your chest without dropping upper body too much, in mid air after each bounce.

Jax (in/out with feet)
Jumping jax while on tramp.