This One Object From Childhood Will Help You Lose Weight!

This One Object From Childhood Will Help You Lose Weight!

Flash back to the days of childhood – the laughing, the running, the singing and most of all – the jumping. It seems like as children we have an endless supply of energy, and it’s probably why the jump rope was such a popular toy at recess. However, did you know that jumping rope acts as a great way to exercise? Yes, that childhood toy can actually be used as exercise equipment. In fact, more calories can be burned in shorter time increments while jumping rope as compared to other cardio options.1

When done properly, jumping rope can be a lower impact activity than jogging. How is this possible? Well, the key is to stay “high on the toes”2, according to Roger Crozier, who coaches a competitive jump rope team. Carrying a jump rope around with you can be a great addition to a workout at LA Fitness, or when you’re not in close proximity to a LA Fitness club. When choosing the type of jump rope to buy, go for beaded or plastic ropes. They tend to be more durable than cotton ones and move through the air faster, allowing a more intense workout.

The How-To

Before getting started with your cardio jump rope routine, make sure to measure your rope to ensure that it properly fits the height of your body. You can do this by following these easy steps:

  1. Stand on the middle of the jump rope.
  2. Measure the handles to your armpits.
  3. If they extend past your armpits, cut and adjust as necessary. If they don’t reach armpit height, you will need a longer rope.
  4. Then start jumping! (Just don’t forget to land on the balls of your feet.)

 

Once you feel comfortable with a regular jump rope routine, there are plenty of fun challenges you can try to help up your game. Some fun variations to try, while increasing difficulty, would be the following:

  • Single Leg Hop. Alternate between hopping on one leg, then switch and do the same amount of jump rope repetitions on the other.
  • Another way to get that feel-good burn is to try High Knees, which will help your hip flexors.
  • Not a fan of the high knees? Try “Butt-Kicks”, where your heel lifts back to kick your buttock, working your hamstrings.

Keep it fun, but make it challenging, for a rewarding cardio workout.

Curious about what other fitness methods are both fun and rewarding for your body? Why not submit a question to Ask A Trainer or ask a trainer* at a club? One of our certified Pro Results® trainers can help answer all your tough fitness questions. Your question may even be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video!

*Pro Results® Personal Training is subject to a separate agreement and an additional fee.

Sources:

  1. Skarnulis, Leanna. “Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/skipping-rope-doesnt-skip-workout#1.
  2. Skarnulis, Leanna. “Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/skipping-rope-doesnt-skip-workout#2.

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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 10 – How Often Should I Work Out Per Week?

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Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., talks about how often you should be working out per week. What’s your guess? 1-2 times per week? 3-4 times per week? More? Watch below!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

5 + 6 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 9 – What’s the Best Way to Preserve Muscle Mass While Trying to Cut?

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Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., helps explain the best ways to preserve muscle mass while trying to cut. You may want to cut down on your cardio, find out why by checking out the video below!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

12 + 14 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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What Type of Plank Is Right For You?

What Type of Plank Is Right For You?

There are certain exercises that have become known as a staple for fitness building. If you’re looking to build a stronger core, planks may be right for you. Planks may seem easy since they are a bodyweight exercise, but this isolated position, when done correctly, proves to be challenging.

How to Do a Proper Basic Plank

Before tackling some of the harder planking styles, it’s important to know basic planking form in order to ensure you’re taking the proper steps to avoid any unnecessary injury to your lumbar spine (lower back).

Step 1: Align your body into the position it would be in if you were going to do a traditional pushup. Make sure your hands are directly underneath your shoulder joint, not in front!

Step 2: Make sure that your arms are shoulder width apart, your palms are pressed flat against the floor* and that you are strongly holding yourself up, without feeling like your arms are going to give out.

*You can also choose to bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms to hold yourself up while you hold your palms together.

 

Step 3: Make sure that your neck is parallel with the ceiling. Imagine a string going from your head to your toes, perfectly aligned. Your eyes should be facing the floor so that you don’t strain your neck.

Step 4: Engage your entire core by doing an anterior pelvic tilt (bring the tailbone down and try to tuck your bottom under). By pelvic tilting, your hips align and put you into a neutral spine position (no lower back curvature).

Step 5: Hold for as long as you can while squeezing your core and glutes.

Benefits of Planking: 

  1. Planking helps train and strengthen your core abdominals, shoulders and triceps.1
  2. Planking may help better your lower back posture by strengthening the muscles that keep your bones in proper alignment.2
  3. Better posture can help reduce back pain. When your core is strong, you are able to sit tall for longer periods of time, resulting in less pain in your neck and shoulders.3
  4. A stronger core helps your body with stabilization, resulting in better movement and overall coordination.4

Different Types of Planking

There are a large variety of planking styles that can help keep things fun and fresh if you’re getting tired of the same traditional planking form. Below is a list of 7 planking variations that may help you achieve a stronger core and tighter tummy.

1. Plank with arm/leg lift

Lift your right leg and left arm in unison. Hold and then alternate with the opposite sides.5

2. Side plank 

Press your left hand into the mat and turn your body so your weight is on the outer edge of your left foot. Imagine a big medicine ball underneath you. Press your torso up and away from the imagined medicine ball, and extend your right hand towards the sky – keeping your core engaged.6

3. Side plank with twist

Lie on your left side with your forearm directly under your shoulder. Raise your right arm towards the ceiling, keeping it perpendicular to your body. Lift your hips so that your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Reach down, scoop your right arm in front of your body, and reach in the space between your chest and the ground. Twist from the waist up. Do desired amount of reps and then switch sides.7

4. Plank out

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Reach down and touch the floor with your fingertips. Without moving your feet, walk your hands forward until you reach planking position. Reverse the movement, walking your hands back towards your toes while keeping your core engaged.8

5. Side plank with hip dip

Begin in a side plank, with arm of your choice reaching upwards toward the ceiling. With control, dip your right or left hip (depending on the side you’ve chosen, down towards the mat. Hover just above the mat and then push your hip back up into your original side plank position.9 Do desired amount of reps and then switch sides, dipping the opposite hip.

6. Stir-the-pot-plank

Use a stability ball to balance your forearms on with elbows positioned under shoulders. Feet should be extended behind you in a planking position. Move forearms in a counterclockwise direction for desired amount of reps then switch to rotating in a clockwise direction.10

7. Plank to pushup

Get into a basic plank position with your elbows on the ground, at 90 degree angles. Push yourself up, one arm at a time, into a push up position. Then lower yourself back down to your elbows on the ground, one arm at a time. Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout.11

How long should you hold a plank?

It’s important to note that you should never push your body to a point where you are feeling pain that is not a soreness associated with muscle use, such as shooting pain or straining that you cannot control. It’s been said that being able to hold a plank position for 2 minutes can be a sign that you’re fairly fit.12

Did You Know?

The World Record for the longest time held in abdominal plank position is 8 hours and 1 minute, held by Chinese police officer Mao Weidong. He accomplished this incredible feat in Beijing, China on May 14th, 2016.13

How long have you managed to hold a plank position for? Do you have a fitness goal or accomplishment you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it! Comment below.

Sources:

  1. Cespedes, Andrea. “What Are the 4 Main Benefits of the Plank Exercise?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 19 July 2016, www.livestrong.com/article/500440-what-does-the-plank-exercise-benefit/.
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Medeiros, Michael De. “The 1 Exercise That Makes You Better in Every Workout.” POPSUGAR Fitness, 29 Mar. 2016, www.popsugar.com/fitness/Benefits-Planking-40741612.
  6. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20813896,00.html#view-all#
  7. Ibid
  8. Matthews, Jessica. “10 New Ways to Do Planks (And Score Serious Strength!).” Shape Magazine, 8 Dec. 2015, www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/10-plank-exercises-score-sexy-abs-fast.
  9. Ibid
  10. Ibid
  11. Goldman, Alison. “7 Ways to Make Planks Harder.” Women’s Health, 14 Apr. 2017, www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/plank-exercise.
  12. “5 Health Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise.” Mercola.com, fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/12/05/5-plank-benefits.aspx.
  13. “Longest Time in an Abdominal Plank Position.” Guinness World Records, www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-time-in-an-abdominal-plank-position.

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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 8 – How Often Should I Do Cardio With Weight Lifting?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 8 – How Often Should I Do Cardio With Weight Lifting?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., helps answer how often cardio should be done with weight lifting – you may be surprised at the answer. Find out below!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

4 + 13 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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