Tag Archive | "machine"

Rowing machine workout

Hands up if you find the rowing machine a little daunting?

We don’t blame you. On a treadmill, you run. On an exercise bike, you cycle. Perfect rowing technique, however, can seem far less straightforward, which means many people are steering clear of this effective piece of gym kit – and missing out on its big-time benefits.

But, master the moves for this machine and you can expect weight loss, better fitness and increased upper and lower-body strength – all without the harsh impact that some cardio exercise can have on joints.

‘Indoor rowing is a complete form of exercise,’ explains Olympic rowing coach and Concept2 fitness expert Terry O’Neill (concept2.co.uk). ‘Rowing is a combination of cardiovascular and strength conditioning, making it a great addition to any fitness regime or training programme – for people of all ages with a wide variety of goals.’

Whether you’re a beginner or an Olympian, there’s a way to make rowing a key player in your workouts.

Full-body workout

One of the main reasons that people opt for a workout on the rower to get their cardio fix is because – unlike the treadmill, stepper and stationary bike – it offers plenty of added value. Using correct technique harnesses the power of both the upper and lower body, so your bum, thighs and calves will get a real push as well as your arms and shoulders. Rowing also requires solid activation from your core and back to maintain good form (particularly in the upper back) with each and every stroke, which means that a good session on the rower can hit almost every muscle, offering total-body conditioning. Plus, the cardiovascular movement of rowing gives your heart and lungs a great workout, too.

‘Indoor rowing is great for toning up, as it involves more muscle groups over a wide range of movement, with little pressure on the joints,’ says Terry. ‘No matter why you choose to row, the rowing machine will offer just the right level of resistance for your goals, as well as an infinite variety of workouts.’

Fuss-free intensity

If you think rowing is just for steady-state fitness, think again – the machine is great for both endurance and interval training. ‘Because the rowing machine activates a large muscle mass, it helps you achieve better cardio results in less time,’ Terry explains. ‘It can also provide excellent anaerobic workouts complementary to explosive power sport training. Plus, indoor rowing is a great endurance exercise that really helps to boost both your heart and lung functions.’

If you’ve ever tried high-intensity interval sprints on the treadmill, you’ll know how annoying it is having to repeatedly press buttons while you’re trying to run to adjust the speed of the belt. One of the great things about the rowing machine is that – although the resistance can be tricky to adjust once you’ve got going – you can control the speed simply by increasing or decreasing your own work rate. So, while some people enjoy longer, steady-state sessions on the rower, those looking for a heart-pumping interval session
can get on with focusing on their technique, instead of pushing buttons.

Of course, the crucial element here is technique – the better your form, the more efficient your workout. Use the steps below to perfect your stroke and practise rowing at a comfortable pace until you’re ready to up your speed.

The rowing masterclass

Use these simple step-by-step instructions to get to grips with perfect rowing technique. Remember to avoid letting your shoulders round or your lower back arch beyond its neutral position. Ready, set, row!

• Keeping your legs straight, lean back slightly with the handle close to your body and your forearms parallel to the floor.

• Extend your arms fully, rocking your body forward slightly and keeping your arms extended.

• Slide your lower body forward from the hips until your knees are above your feet, keeping your arms extended.

• Push down on your feet to drive your body back, straightening your legs and leaning your body back slightly as you do so.

• Pull the handle back past your knees towards your body to return to the starting position. Repeat.

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Rowing machine workout

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Barbara-Mae Hits The Stage

QHow did your fitness
journey begin?

I was not always a heavy person. Growing up in school, I had been a star athlete competing in all manners of sports: Basketball, volleyball, track and field, and competitive ladies fastpitch, to name a few. When I had reached my early twenties, I became a stay-at-home mom and a certified fitness instructor and trainer. This allowed me to combine my duties to my family as well as still be able to motivate and train clients. Even at my heaviest weight, I was still exercising and training others as manager of a community fitness center.

In 2000, my struggles really took off when my dad was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. He declined rapidly and passed away six months after diagnosis. This event took a huge toll on my mom. Shortly after, my mom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a form of blood cancer). Unfortunately, the cancer eventually progressed too much, and she passed in January 2009.

After my experience with caring for others and noticing the illnesses that pervaded my family’s history—cancer, hypertension, heart failure, and kidney failure—I decided I needed to truly monitor my own health. Later that April, I decided I needed to lose the weight and get back into the shape I longed to be in again.

“Although I did not place in that November competition, I was very proud of my accomplishment and how far I had come.”

How did you accomplish
your goals?

I am a very goal-oriented person. The story of how I stumbled across figure competitions is quite amusing! One morning over coffee, I confessed to my husband, “I need a new challenge and I need to work toward a new goal. Things are getting stale!” After that, we both left for work. Later that morning I emailed him and told him, “I am going to enter a figure competition.” He replied with: “You don’t even wear a bikini.”

It’s true, I don’t. Yet here I am with one competition under my belt and working toward at least two more this year. I hired a trainer and a nutrition coach (who happen to be husband and wife duo) named Tracy and Jeff, respectively. I worked with Tracy to develop a 4-day weight program and a 6-day per week cardio program. I worked with Jeff to develop a nutrition plan that allowed me to drop another 27 pounds before the competition last November.

I was focused and determined. When I make up my mind to do something, I go all-out 100 percent! Although I did not place in that November competition, I was very proud of my accomplishment and how far I had come from that person who weighed in at almost 250 pounds. Now I am striving to do better in the 2014 shows and hoping to place in at least one of them.

Cool Fact

Barbara is an independent country recording music artist with three albums released to date.

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

Negative Reps: One or two spotters help you lift a weight up to 10-50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.

Varies typically done in a circuit format 10-15 reps each.

Amateurs Of The Week

Bodybuilding.com honors amateurs across all categories for their hard work, dedication, and great physiques. Learn how our featured amateurs built their bodies and hit their goals!

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

What supplement schedule gave you the greatest gains?

“For anyone out there saying they can’t, you need to change that to ‘I can.'”

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

As I mentioned, I was already very active. The most recent turning point arose from my desire to improve my health and better myself. Changing my diet was most difficult, but not in the way you would think. It was mainly about learning to eat more. Typically, I used to eat too little for the amount of activity I had been doing. I was very lucky to have someone create my diet and training regimens. I needed to learn my body for what it was.

I mean I am a 52-year-old grandmother, who had lost almost 130 pounds altogether and totally transformed my body.

What or who
motivated you?

Backstage at my first competition, I started to doubt myself and became intimidated by all the other amazing physiques. My coach, Tracy, pointed out, “Everyone here has a story and each story is unique. That includes you and your own story.” You know what, she was right! Tosca Reno was a real inspiration to me when she chose to go back out on the stage after age 50!

What motivated me to live healthier was that both of my parents have lost their battle to cancer. When I look at them and my other family members who have passed, I realized I had to get my act together. I was overweight—albeit “healthy” so far—I wanted to get to an ideal body weight and be healthy. I wanted to be here for my children and my grandchildren.

Where did you go for inspiration?

My inspiration came from a variety of sources. I did a lot of research on the web looking for women my age and what they have accomplished. I read articles on Bodybuilding.com for inspiration and support. I also have excellent coaches, who push me every step of the way.

What are your future fitness plans?

My future plans are to compete this year in two figure and fitness competitions, hoping to place in at least one of them. I may do another show in November. I am also competing for the first time in a FemSport competition this year. Beyond competing, I’m passionate about motivating people and want to do some speaking engagements for women to show them that anything can be done no matter what the age.

What is the most important fitness tip?

For anyone out there saying they can’t, you need to change that to “I can.”

The cliché is true: Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Not everyone can do exactly how I did it, but each person can develop the necessary determination and drive to succeed in anything. Yes, there are going to be ups and downs, but that’s life. We can just work to keep it from spinning out of control. Don’t think that age is going to slow you down. I have been around a while, and I’ll tell you what: I am no “spring chicken.”

Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?

I would have to say that Tosca is my favorite. Erin Stern and Jamie Eason are also strong women to look up to.

How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals?

Bodybuilding.com has always been a personal favorite of mine. The articles on lifting and dieting are great. There’s nothing like reading the transformations for a little push in the right direction. Thank you, Bodybuilding.com, for giving me the opportunity to be featured as one of those transformations. Maybe I can be the little push that helps another person reach their goals.

Barbara’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez
  2. “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele
  3. “What Doesn’t Kill you Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
  4. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
  5. “Believe” by Cher
Competition History

My very first competition was November 13th of last year (NPAA in Calgary). I did not place, but I had no expectations than to enjoy the experience and meet some wonderful people. I am competing this year on May 31st at the INBF (Calgary) and the IDFA (Calgary) and have greater expectations of placing this year.

 

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Barbara-Mae Hits The Stage

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Glute Workout: 6 Ways To Build Your Perfect Booty

Pop onto FitBoard or the fitness board on Pinterest and you’ll soon learn that it’s all about the butt! Who doesn’t want a backside that turns heads? You can do cardio until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t build a great bum unless you do some weight training. Not sure which moves or techniques are best for building the perfect booty? We’ve got you covered.

India Paulino, Tabitha Klausen, Amanda Latona, and Sara Solomon: The lovely ladies of BSN want to help you build your best booty!

Here are five of the best glute training techniques and exercises you can do, including a complete workout from IFBB Bikini competitor India Paulino. Incorporate these techniques in your lower-body training regimen and you’ll be blown away by the results. A full set of glutes is in your future!

1 Squat!

“Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout.”

Of all the bum-friendly exercises to add to your workout routine, the squat should be numero uno. True, it’s the queen exercise of butt-building, but it’s also a great movement for athleticism, flexibility, and can even tax your cardiovascular system.

Tabitha Klausen, an IFBB Bikini competitor and proud owner of a great booty has some tips for squatting. “Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout,” she says. “They’re the perfect way to make sure you concentrate on using the right muscles throughout the workout.”

Before each leg workout, Tabitha does 4 sets of 25 reps of bodyweight squats. She focuses on squeezing the glute muscles to get them firing and ready for her heavier lifts ahead.

Tabitha recommends concentrating on form rather than weight. “Focus on feeling the form through all of your exercises rather than using the heaviest weight possible,” she says. “It’s important to feel that mind-muscle connection.”

2 Go “Wide And High”

Puzzled about how to grow your glutes without also building massive quads? Amanda Latona delivers the “wide and high” answer. “When doing any glute-focused exercise, like squats, take a wide step forward to take the weight away from your quads. Or, if you’re doing step-ups, add more elevation. Both adjustments will add more focus on the glutes specifically.”

If you’re really looking for a challenge, Amanda also recommends lunging by stepping down from an elevated platform. This increases your range of motion, which will result in greater glute muscle fiber activation and growth.

3 Build a Glute Bridge

One problem Dr. Sara Solomon sees regularly is women who are using a regimen that neglects to correct muscular imbalances. “It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on correcting your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries,” she explains. “Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting, which further causes the glute muscles to weaken and makes us rely more heavily on our quads and hamstrings to power through our exercises.”

One of Sara’s favorite exercises to correct this imbalance is the glute bridge. To perform this one, sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your pelvis high enough off the floor to create a straight line between your knees, hips, and shoulders.

“It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries.”

Focus on using only your glute muscles to do the work. If you need a bigger challenge, put a weight plate or loaded barbell on your hips for extra resistance.

4 Try Single-Leg Squats

Because this exercise puts your body in an unbalanced position, you’ll have to recruit often-untapped muscle fibers in order to maintain balance. This added challenge will get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.

Single-leg squats are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most challenging and most effective lower-body movements around. Many people won’t be able to do one right off the bat. Hold a weight in front of you for counterbalance, grab a wall for help, or put a thin plate under your heel.

Whatever you do, squat down as low as you can.

5 Do Split Squats

The split squat is an excellent butt-building move. When you do it, think about pushing up from the bent-knee position through the heel instead of through the ball or toes of your foot. By shifting your weight to your heel, your center of balance will instantly move slightly backward and will better activate your glutes.

To make split squats even more difficult and thus put more stress on your booty muscles, put a barbell across your back. A barbell works better than dumbbells because your body position is optimized for glute muscle recruitment.

6 Follow India Paulino’s Glute Workout!

The 2013 Bikini International winner knows exactly what it takes to earn the top spot on stage. For India Paulino, that means working her glutes three times per week! “I was always very skinny,” India says, “so I had to work hard to build my glutes.” India’s glute workouts are fast-paced, intense, and effective!

Here’s an example glute-building session:

Glute Training
Watch The Video – 06:18

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Glute Workout: 6 Ways To Build Your Perfect Booty

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Fitness 360: Samantha Ann Leete, Training Program

Samantha trains to overcome her weaknesses. She doesn’t cherry-pick workouts for her strengths or make excuses for lagging muscle groups. Her most productive days in the gym are when she’s learning a new lift, working on muscle groups that need extra attention, and moving heavy weight. Her desire to build a better body and become a better athlete fuels her through every workout.

Samantha Ann Leete Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 13:58

Mixing It Up

Samantha likes to use multiple training strategies so she never gets bored. “I love incorporating supersets, giant sets, circuits, HIIT cardio, low-intensity cardio, dropsets, and negatives,” she says. “I also like to switch up my rep ranges, tempo, and exercises.” These constant changes help keep Samantha excited about her workouts and motivated for her future goals.

Although she uses different modalities to train various muscle groups, Samantha likes to keep her split fairly consistent. “I usually lift three or four days per week and do sprints or plyometrics once per week. For my upper body, I usually stick to a 10-12 rep range. For my lower body, I do 10-20 reps per exercise.”

Romanian Deadlift

Like most of us, Samantha has a tough relationship with cardio. “Sometimes it can be fun and I look forward to it, especially when I’ve had a stressful day and could use a cathartic sweat session.” She’ll squeeze in a cardio session during lunch at work, but if she’s in the gym, she prefers the arc trainer, the stepmill, or plyos.

Unlike some elite competitors, Samantha believes in rest days. “I just try to listen to my body,” she says. Sometimes a rest day means hitting a hard cardio session, sometimes it means going for a long, fun hike, and sometimes, rest just means rest. “Rest days can literally mean just chilling out and watching a movie,” she explains.

Samantha’s Training Split

Cardio

These are examples of cardio workouts that I might do during the week

Cardio workout #1
45 minute Arc Trainer

Cardio workout #2
Treadmill lunge intervals
3-minute incline lunge
3-minute incline run
3-minute incline walk
Repeat for 30 minutes

Cardio workout #3
Treadmill HIIT sprints
30 second incline sprint
30 second incline walk
Repeat for 20 minutes

Cardio workout #4
HIIT circuit
2-minute row
1-minute rope jump
100 mountain climbers
Rest 30-60 seconds
Repeat for 20 minutes


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Paige Hathaway

1 hour 13 minutes ago

We may not know what each day has in store for us. We could be gone tomorrow. Any minute could truly be our last goodbye. But we do have this moment. This time. Today. Right now. It takes way more effort to shell out hate then it does to allow love to flow freely in our lives. After all, it's what we were born to do.

No one was born to hate, we are naturally born to love. When's the last time you gave someone a compliment? Or magnified their strengths and not their weaknesses.. Do you remember when you said hello or smiled at a complete stranger? You do know that one kind gesture can change someone's entire day. Just because you're alive and here.. doesn't mean you can't be an angel in disguise.

Paige Hathaway

5 hours 16 minutes ago

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