Posts tagged with "workout tips"

Gym Illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

The Beach Body

Kupah James has the raw and positive energy it takes to be motivational. Although he grew up in Boston, he now resides in LA as a Celebrity Group Fitness Instructor. With over 15 years of experience, Kupah is also a Private Party Dj (Global). With best friend and business partner, JENI Lin they created the very popular #BodyWeightBootKAMP – a 45min total body circuit for all fitness levels.

If you don’t find him amongst small groups of people motivating and coaching you can catch sneaking in afternoon naps and binging streaming services…before/after napping (LOL). His long term goal is to travel the world bringing #BodyWeightBootKAMP to each and every shore!

Health During the Holidays

With the 2020 holidays approaching, here are some activities you can #MakeMoves with first thing in the morning to get your mind right for the ensuing “craze that is the holidays.” Let’s agree, we are searching for a quick “win,” nothing super complicated and “thinking” should not be in the cards. Load up your “GoTo” workout, the one where you kill it and always feel your best every time.

If you’re feeling a more chill holiday workout, something meditative like a yoga practice, a long walk, a light jog or meditating can be helpful. One of these exercises can calm your nerves and allow you a moment of calmness. You can take this peaceful time to celebrate making it to another festive season. 

If you’re looking for help with the holiday feast, we all know we don’t want to ruin our appetites. By making sure we get a “healthier” breakfast in the morning, hopefully, we can avoid extra guilt come dessert time. Drink lots of water and if your a coffee person grab one to help suppress your hunger until “DINNAH,” lol. If you really want to balance out the equation, ease up on the carbs 24-48 hours before it’s time to dig in. Bon appétit!

Keeping a Daily Routine

With so many people working from home, parks and other creative spaces, how does one maintain a good routine if your living space becomes your workspace as well?

A couple of ways to maintain a good routine are using your smartphones/devices, friends/roommates/spouses, or an accountability coach. All devices come with apps, timers and reminders to help keep you on task. For me, I’m always on the go so I use food reminders to help me with my routine. Sometimes I’m so busy interacting with clients I forget to eat, so I created a reminder just to chug a protein shake every couple of hours. ICONIC makes a perfect pre-made protein shake, so it’s even easier, no excuses.

Do you have people around you that you can lean on for “check-ins” and support? Asking a friend, relative or spouse could be a great way to “stay the course” and build on an existing relationship. 

Accountability Coaches do just that, hold you accountable with calls, texts, meets and quality time invested into the things you SAY you want to do but allow distractions to get in the way. Sometimes a person you’re close to might not be the best for this job, rather finding an objective, trained professional to work with your motivations might be best. 

A Critical Muscle to Tone

It is critical to develop a strong healthy back simply because your back is essentially the most important part of your skeleton next to your skull. It bears the weight of your upper body while stabilizing your balance and “kindly” houses your Central Nervous System (CNS). Your CNS allows signals from the brain to travel throughout your body. If that isn’t reason enough it’s also a major component to posture, and everyday activities like walking, running, sitting and lifting. 

Some of the primary benefits of a back workout are the strengthening of the shoulder and increasing stability. Many shoulder injuries can be treated simply by strengthening your back. Another benefit to back workouts is the positive effect on your posture and balance. Not to mention, a well developed back will aid in your quest for that Super Hero Body that many of us dreamed of as little boys. 

The best exercises depend on someone’s personal goals. With that said, some essential exercises would be – in no particular order – Back Loaded Squat, Deadlifts both (Sumo and Romanian are common), Back Rows, Rear Flys, Single Arm Row, Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups and Lat Pull Down. These are all great exercises, just to name a few. 

A common mistake of back exercises is having a “poor” form. I could never express how important form is to the overall development of any muscle group and the back is no exception. Especially in the Back Squat, Deadlift and Pull Up. Those are three that I often see performed incorrectly and I can’t help myself but to speak up and try to help the best way I can. An injury is nothing to shake a stick at, so when performing these exercises, and others, please “respect the rep” and choose form over everything.

Something to consider which I believe gets overlooked is a post-workout routine. A good stretch of the muscle group you just worked on can be vital in your recovery. A protein shake that feeds the muscles with proper nutrition and the tools it needs to maximize your workout can also be necessary. My personal favorite post-workout shake is by ICONIC, it comes in a variety of flavors, a powder or pre-made, and is grass-fed. 

How often a person should add back exercises to their routine depends on the individual goals, injuries, limitations, etc. However, once someone wants to add back exercises, they can add them immediately. If someone is “newer” to fitness it might not be a bad idea to try some workouts using strictly bodyweight before adding a load, just to perfect form and technique. A great source of BodyWeight workouts can be found on my YouTube Channel, and are streaming for FREE. As far are frequency, 2x or 3x a week seems pretty reasonable unless there are specific goals in which case it would be situational. For the common fitness person, this number would be adequate. 

Szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration, tennis

Tips on how women can develop Upper body Strength:

Grassroots Fitness Project has been promoting Women’s Strength for over a decade. Presently our most popular class is Women’s Strength which is a 6 week program that teaches all skill levels, fundamental lifting patterns of strength training in a supportive women’s only environment. Using Grassroots Fitness Project as a human performance laboratory we found that there are three main factors which affect developing upper body strength safely.

  1. Adequate levels of shoulder mobility
  2. Core strength and spinal stability.
  3. Developing a learner’s mentality.

Poor shoulder mobility is usually the issue when we hear, “Oh I tried fill in the blank training method, and it ruined my shoulders.” What is usually the case is participants enter these classes with less than optimal flexibility in the shoulders which reduces full ROM (Range of Motion). Loss of range of motion prevents optimal positioning and develops compensation patterns which forces stabilizing muscles to perform work as primary movers. An example of this would be over head presses. If the client lacks the ability to flex their shoulder 180 degrees which basically put; Bringing biceps to ears with shoulders blades retracted, the client will struggle to get the wrist, elbow, and shoulder aligned vertically. When this is the case clients tend to over work the rotator cuff tissues and/ or hyper extend at the low back to achieve vertical positioning of the arms. Poor shoulder mobility and flexibility= No Bueno
To assess shoulder mobility place your butt, head and entire spine onto wall with feet slightly ahead of you. With your arms starting at your side bring your knuckles to the wall above you whilst keeping your entire spine including the low back on the wall. If you are unable to get full shoulder flexion you should work on shoulder mobility first.

Core strength and spinal stability. Core strength begets increased spinal stability. Deeper than the muscles you want to see in the mirror are your deep core musculature comprised of the Transverse abdominus, Spinal erectors, Multifidus, Gluteals, Hip flexors, and Abdominus rectus.
Easiest assessment for adequate core strength is the prone bridge on your elbows for 60 seconds. Face down, on your elbows feet behind you. The body should be held in a straight line from shoulder to ankles. While in this position pull your belly button to your spine, attempt to tighten your quadriceps, buttocks, and activate your pelvic floor musculature “Kiegel” muscles. A one minute plank in good position is a good benchmark to use to assess core strength.

Developing the learners mentality allows all of the attendees to put down the preconceived expectations of performance, strength, and athleticism. We encourage people to embrace their ability level as a starting point to move forward from. The learners mind is about setting the goal around getting better at the respective skill, every workout. If we can get the client to focus on getting better given enough time becoming great is inevitable.

With all that said, we were inspired by Stan Leprotti’s La Sierra High School Warm-up from 1957 and tweaked it to meet the needs of our population. This is a great everyday workout, vacation workout, feeling lazy workout, I ain’t got time work out program that elicits flexibility, endurance and a ton of upper body strength. A version is posted HERE.

20 Jumping Jacks
5 Push-ups or Shoulder Taps
20 Alternating Windmills
5 Push-ups or Shoulder Taps
50 Side Straddle Hops
5 Push-ups or Shoulder Taps
50 Striders
5 Push-ups or Shoulder Taps
50 Toe Hops
5 Push-ups or Shoulder Taps
10 Squat thrusts
40 Mountain Climbers
5 Push-ups or Shoulder Taps