5 Tips to Make Your Workout More Effective

Posted by Trinity Perkins on Jan 17, 2019 4:04:29 PM

 

1.  Use a stability ball or BOSU trainer for core work – to target your entire core and avoid Tips for a more effective workout
pressing your spine into the floor with traditional crunches and sit-ups.


2.  Try compound or hybrid exercises – because they recruit more muscles (burning more
calories) and save time. For example, combine a squat and shoulder dumbbell press
instead of doing them separately.


3. Try intervals for cardio – change up your speed (walk, jog, run, repeat) for 25 minutes.
Intensity, not duration, is most important for fat loss and muscle development. Interval
training will save you time, too!


4. Do cardio after you lift weights – save your strength for lifting and burn more fat by
doing cardio after you weight train. If cardio is part of your warm-up, keep it light and
under 15 minutes.

5. Use a foam roller to help ease muscle tension in those hard-to-stretch spots. Foam rolling
is similar to massage, working through muscle tissue for more muscle relaxation.

Want More tips on maximizing your workout?

Drop us a note in the comments sections as to what area of the bod you would like to see us tackle next or if you are in the Chantilly, Herndon, Fairfax, Centreville area schedule a free consulation with one of our wellness coaches. Already a member? Stop one of our certified personal trainers and ask...we are always here to help!

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Topics: fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women

Women's Wellness Series:  The Resolution Solution

Posted by Trinity Perkins on Jan 3, 2019 12:16:54 PM

New Year New You image

Nearly half of us are making New Year’s resolutions, but less than 10% of us will keep them through February. Whether it’s lack of motivation, lack of resources or loss of interest, many of us will start off strong but lose the spark, especially when it comes to our fitness goals. It’s time to map out a fresh strategy for 2019! Here are 5 tips to help you stick with your New Year Resolutions:

  1. Be specific – Rather than aiming to “exercise more,” map out the exact days and times you’ll be hitting the gym each week.

  2. Buddy up – Reaching goals is better with friends! ‘Planners’ should pair up with ‘doers’ and people who like to research everything before making a move should pair up with those who like to jump right in! You might work differently but you can help keep each other motivated and focused.  

  3. Break it down – If your goal is to “lose weight,” break it down into bite-sized action steps you can take right away. A smaller goal of “lose 1 lb a week” is easier to measure and track as you work toward your long-term goals.

  4. Be realistic – Reaching the resolution finish line is as much about the journey as it is about the result. Be realistic with your resolutions so you’re not miserable along the way. If cutting out sweets altogether is a no-go, commit to eating sweets once or twice a week instead.

  5. Celebrate small wins – Sometimes we focus so much on the big goals that we don’t see all the awesome milestones we reach along the way. Celebrate the small wins to keep you motivated to reach your long-term goals. Book a massage or treat yourself to a healthy meal. You deserve it!

Need help setting goals or getting started? Book an appointment with one of our certified personal trainers or with our nutrition coach today!
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Topics: women's health, goal setting, Women's Wellness, health tips, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, new year's resoltuions

Essential Exercises for Women:  Firm Your Booty!

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Apr 11, 2018 4:45:49 PM

Summer will be here before we know it and most of us are looking for ways to firm up our backside. Aside from looking great in a pair of shorts, strong glutes help improve posture, balance, and athletic performance. In addition, strengthening your backside can help to reduce knee and back pain and is a great way to prevent injuries. Adding these four exercises in this addition to our Essential Exercises for Women series to your routine can help you develop glute strength and lift and firm your backside. All you need for this workout is a loop resistance band and a mat. Perform 15 reps of each exercise, completing the entire circuit three times for a complete total booty workout!


BANDED LATERAL WALK: Place band around ankles and come into a quarter squat position (knees bent with slight hip hinge) Keep the toes pointing forward, step right foot to the side. Perform 15 reps to the right, then reverse direct, performing 15 reps to the left. 

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                                  Position A                                                         Position B

 

SQUAT WITH HIP EXTENSION: Stand with band around the ankles with feet hip width apart. Hinging at the hips and bending the knees (take care not to extend knees in front of toes) sit back into a squat. Squeeze glutes as you straighten legs and extend the right leg behind you, keeping spine neutral and core engaged. Repeat with left leg for one rep. If you want a great way to really target and tone your butt this is a great one!

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B


BOOTY BURNING BRIDGES:

Lie on back with band around the thighs. Place feet on the floor about hip distance apart. Press heels into the floor as you squeeze glutes to lift hips, keeping the back in neutral alignment with the lower belly drawing in. Lower hips to hover over floor. For an additional challenge hold the last rep and perform 10 pulses up, then 10 pulses pressing out against the band. Glute bridges are a must-do, butt lifting exercise!

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B

 

BOOTY LIFTERS:  Place band around feet, so that it is looped around the sole of your shoes. Position yourself on to elbows and knees and engage core to keep low back neutral. Flex right foot and extend heel towards the ceiling, keeping right knee bent.  Perform 15 reps on right side, then repeat on left. #Feelthebootyburn

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B

 

Put all four of these exercises for women together for a power packed, butt toning workout that you can do right at home! 

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Topics: exercises for women, exercise while travelling, leg exercises, butt toning, thigh toning, fitness for women, exercise at home

4 Easy Steps to Sticking to a Morning Fitness Routine

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Apr 3, 2018 12:31:32 PM

Lets face it, some days we have every intention of working out, but life somehow gets in the way. Between work deadlines, family obligations, and sick kids even the most dedicated exercisers  can get derailed. One way around this is to workout first thing in the morning. Sounds good, but getting out of a warm and cozy bed to exercise is hard! Follow these four steps to get yourself up and moving in the morning.

easy morning workout for women

unsplash-logoPhoto by:Christopher Campbell

 

START SLOWLY: Figure out how much time you will need for your workout and begin to gradually adjust your sleep schedule. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking 15 minutes earlier. Use that extra time in the morning to do a quick yoga or stretching routine, or any other short workout. This will help you get into the habit of doing something good for your body every morning. Continue gradually adjusting your sleep schedule by 15 minutes each week until you have enough time for your full workout.


SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: Create an environment that is conducive to exercise. Start by packing your gym bag or setting out all of your workout gear the night before and placing them by the door so you are ready to go.  If you are having a hard time resisting the snooze button put your alarm clock across the room or set multiple alarms. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to get out the door in the morning! It also helps to have a plan B in place just in case. For example, if you are planning to head out for a run but wake up to a thunderstorm, try an indoor tabata or strength workout.


GIVE YOURSELF AN OUT: Sometimes we wake up and just don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise! When lack of motivation strikes, promise yourself you can stop after 10 minutes if you are still feeling exhausted. Chances are that once you get up and moving you will want to keep going. Even if you decide to stop, at least you have done something for 10 minutes. Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than zero!


ENLIST HELP: An early morning workout buddy can work wonders in helping you stick to a morning workout routine. We are more likely to show up if we know we have someone waiting for us! If you can’t find a friend who is willing to wake up and workout, Try signing up for a class, hiring a trainer, or posting your intentions to social media. All of these thing can help create accountability and help you to stick to your plan.

 

Article Submitted by: 

Stephanie Khan, Director of Group Exercise and Personal Training at The Women's Club

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Topics: group exercise classes for women, exercises for women, Women's Wellness, personal training, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, Strength training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Single Arm Dumbbell Chest Press

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 17, 2013 2:49:00 PM

Up in Arms!

In this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women, we highlight a variation of a traditional exercise, the dumbbell chest press. By alternating sides and adding the stability ball, this exercise becomes much more challenging! By alternating the arms, you add a new dynamic to the move where you have to engage your core to keep the body stable. When doing this version, you may need to go lighter on the weights. You might also want to try it on a bench or floor before moving on to an exercise ball.


Lie down on a bench, step, or stability ball. (If using a stability ball, be sure that your upper back and head are on the ball!) Begin with the weights in each hand straight up over the chest, palms face out.


Keep the left arm in place while bending the right elbow and lowering the arm down until it's at or just below the chest (the arm should look like a goal post).


Press the arm back up without locking the elbow, then immediately repeat the move on the left arm while keeping the right arm in place.

single arm chest press


Continue alternating sides, engaging the abs to keep the torso from moving.
Repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions on each arm.


Tips

  • Keep the abs contracted throughout the movement to protect your back.
  • Keep the motion slow and controlled -- try not to use momentum to lift the weight.
 
 
 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston



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Topics: exercises for women, strength training, arm exercises, fitness for women, Strength training for women

The 3 P's for a Tighter Tummy

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 14, 2012 12:07:00 PM

Tummy Toning is as Easy as 1-2-3

 
I can't think of one person out there who doesn’t want a lean, flat midsection … can you?  You can have the flat abs you’ve always wanted if you make these exercise, nutrition and posture tips part of your daily regimen. You just might start to see that six pack you’ve always wanted!
 

Rule #1 – Proper Nutrition 

Lose the body fat.  Let’s face it, it’s great to tone your abs by doing crunches and core exercises regularly, but they’ll remain hidden until you shed the fat that covers them.  You’ll need to maintain a healthy body weight and to do so proper food choices are essential.
 
Increase the fiber:  A diet high in fiber will aid in weight loss as well as weight management. Beans, broccoli, avocado, artichoke and whole grains are just a few of the nutritious foods with a high fiber content which will help you feel fuller faster and longer.  

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Cut down on sodium. It’s very common to consume twice as much sodium as health experts recommend. Too much salt can lead to bloating as well as high blood pressure. Watch the processed foods, check labels, eat more whole foods and be sure to drink plenty of water.
 
Eat smaller meals more frequently. To avoid getting overly hungry and overindulging, it’s best to eat 4 - 5 smaller meals every 3 hours.
 

Rule # 2 –   Proper Exercise

Understand the fact that there is no such thing as spot reduction. This seems to be hard for people to grasp.  Forget about the miracle gadgets advertised on television that
promise a washboard stomach. Save your money and put your energy into more sensible
eating and regular exercise.
 
Strengthen your muscles. Several days per week you should be doing resistance exercises to build and maintain lean muscle.  This will result in speeding up your resting metabolism and burn the fat around the muscle tissue.  Hint, hint… around the abdominals!

Lauren_doing_crunches-388167-editedBy PhotoAtelier [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 
 
Do cardiovascular exercises daily. 
While it is not recommended to work your muscles every day due to the fact that they have to repair and regrow, it is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of heart pumping activity at least 5 days per week.  Get off the couch, grab your neighbor and go for a brisk walk.
 

Rule # 3 – Proper Posture Alignment:

Believe it or not, poor posture is very common and can result in the appearance of a belly pooch.  

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When practicing proper posture techniques you can improve your energy level as well as lung capacity.  
 
Hold your abs in tight. Holding your abdominals in toward your spine as often as you can remember to do so may sound awkward and feel even more awkward but it will quickly become a habit with regular practice and the results are outstanding.  Not only will your abs look flatter, but you’ll breathe more deeply, feel more energetic and appear to be more confident.

 
Pull your shoulders back. Letting your shoulders drop back and relax helps to raise your chest up. This way, all of your core muscles support your weight instead of making just your abdomen carry the load.

Practice proper body alignment.  Whether you sit or stand be sure to hold your body in proper alignment throughout the day. Getting flat abs fast can be achievable and work wonders on your appearance and your health. Remember it takes eating right, exercising and standing up straight to gain your new look. 

 

Want even more ways you can get flat abs fast?

You can learn more in our Essential Exercises for Women Series dedicated to getting that tighter tummy we are all looking for! If you are in the local Chantilly, Herndon, Centerville Fairfax area you can schedule a free consultation to explore how we can help you reach your goal of flat abs as well as any other fitness goals you may be trying to reach.

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Topics: abs exercises, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, fitness for women

How to have a Fat-Blasting, Calorie-Burning Post-Thanksgiving Workout

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 21, 2012 11:45:00 AM

We have all been there. It's the day after Thanksgiving and you feel like you may have eaten the entire turkey by yourself. All that is on your mind is burning off those calories and fast!

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Because practically everyone has experienced a moment or two of over-indulgence, we thought we would bring you the perfect "morning after" advice on how you can have a calorie-burning, fat-blasting Post-Thanksgiving workout today and any day!

How to Make Your Workout Count!

You make the time to exercise, right? Take a moment and think about your workout…. Are you coasting? Doing the same old thing? Get the most from your workout by using the following tips.

  • Focus your mental energy.  If you're lifting weights, focus on that specific muscle group. Researchers saw a significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on what they were doing, compared to thinking about unrelated topics.
  • Pump up the volume. Listen to upbeat music while you exercise. Researchers found that personal music motivated weightlifters to complete two more repetitions on average than those who were not listening to music.  Try this Post-Thanksgiving workout playlist...
  • Keep things fresh.  Change your routine often. This will help you to avoid plateaus and will continue to challenge your body. Try new exercises, and new intensities. Check out a Group Exercise class you haven’t tried before! Post-Thanksgiving Zumba anyone? 

how to make your workouts count
  • Stay nourished and hydrated. Pay attention to your food and your hydration levels. You'd be amazed how much being dehydrated can affect your performance even away from the gym. 

 

 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston, 

 

Want More tips on maximizing your workout?

Drop us a note in the comments sections as to what area of the bod you would like to see us tackle next or if you are in the Chantilly, Herndon, Fairfax, Centreville area schedule a free consulation with one of our wellness coaches. Already a member? Stop one of our certified personal trainers and ask...we are always here to help!

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Topics: exercises for women, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, personal training for women

The 5 WORST Fitness Habits on the Planet!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 13, 2012 10:39:00 AM

bad fitness habits

Taking the time to examine the way you exercise can offer various differences in being safe and keeping the body well balanced along with the better results. Here are five of the worst fitness habits you need to know about in order to make sure that you are maximizing your workout and preventing injury.

1.  Holding Your Breath During an Exercise – Breathing steadily in a regular manner has a lot of advantages. For example, inhaling and exhaling properly can help you exert more energy while doing some moves. It can also aid in the balanced production of lactic acid which is necessary for muscle build-up. With proper breathing, you can have a stable heart rate. The maximum oxygen level to the blood can be well-delivered with a full breath. This in turn will bring enough energy to muscles on the move.
 
2.  Sticking With the Same Exercises – Challenge is something that your muscles need to produce better results. Your muscles will simply adjust when sticking to the same workout routine and progression will be difficult to achieve.  Simply change up your exercises every week or two by increasing weight, adding sets and repetitions, as well as adding new exercises like Zumba, yoga, etc.  This will not only prevent injury and produce better results, but will prevent boredom as well.
 
3. Fueling the Body – Properly fueling the body before and after you workout is essential for maximum results and recovery. The body needs glucose for fuel so if you are a morning exerciser, make sure you eat one hour before you exercise to give your body the energy it

give your body the fuel it needs

 requires.  If your blood sugar is low, your body ends up stealing it from your muscles. Consuming a mixture of protein and carbohydrates will be optimal for exercise performance.
Drinking a protein shake with fruit is ideal. 
A post workout meal is important for re-fueling the muscles.  Your muscles breakdown during exercise and giving your body proper nutrition after your workout is highly beneficial for muscle recovery and growth.  Try drinking a protein shake with fruit or making sure you consume both protein and carbohydrates within an hour after exercising.

4.  Bad Form – Safety is essential during your workout and the best way for you to be safe is to maintain the correct form. If you do not put serious consideration on proper movement and form then you are no longer attaining the best benefits that exercise can offer. Plus, with bad form you are adding much risk of injury. Remember, slow and controlled is best when using weights.
 
5.  Slacking off on Stretching -  After a hard workout, the last thing most people want to do is stay and stretch.  However, flexibility is very important as we age in preventing injury and maintaining health for your body.  The next time you work out simply plan ahead and allot time for stretching all major muscles including hamstrings and lower back.

So how are YOU Doing?

Do not despair if you found that you were guilty of one (or maybe even more than one) of these bad fitness habits. The key here is to make change so that you CAN get the results that you want. Instituting the help of a personal trainer and/or a nutritionist can be a tremendous help answering the "what am I doing wrong" question many of us have when if comes down to our exercise program. So dont' be afraid...go ahead and ask for help. we would love to hear the questions that you have! Drop us a note in the comment section or just click the button below and we will get to as many questions as we can.

 

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Topics: women's health, exercises for women, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, fitness for women, Strength training for women

Why I Joined a Women's Fitness Center vs a Co-ed Gym

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 2, 2012 3:28:00 PM

Braggin' Rights

From time to time it's good to know when you've done something right! In this week's post we let guest blogger, Natasha Nixon, sing our praises...or more to the point the praises of women's fitness centers in general as opposed to co-ed facilities. 

 

Because we have added to our chosen responsibilities of wife and mother, roles as career, sport and many other activities, we need to use a women’s fitness center to give us the necessary balance.  That being said we don't just want any old "gym," we want programs, equipment and training programs just for us.  We need things that will help us a women to be in better shape on a number of levels, including mind, body and spirit.

I see the commitment to a health club for women as being a special one. The certified personal trainers know our physiological composition and understand the regimens we need to be productive at work, at home and at play. They understand that means being just physically strong, but emotionally beautyrobic-exercise-fit-866023strong and they get the connection between the two for women.

We are challenged to meet the diverse venues that our choices require.  But, in our hectic lives a women’s fitness center provides the therapy that we need to feel better, look better and to manage our many responsibilities.  It is not just statistics that bears out the value of joining a health club for women. It really is common sense. 

Men did get one thing right.  To realize their full potential in business, sport, career and family, men must  be fit...but the need for fitness is genderless.  Remember that anything they can do, we can do better...much better. :)

We want our Pilates classes.  We love our yoga classes.  We embrace training regimens that specifically address mind, body and soul.  We want to meditate.  We want to nurture.  We want to succeed. We believe this life is a truly magnificent gift that we should do our best to respect and prolong.

Our sane time is our fitness time!  Women’s fitness is such a rewarding lifestyle choice.  We learn at a health club made just for us what lifestyle choices are prudent and which habits we should correct.  All the while, our trainers and other female members are right there with us. 

At a health club for women, we are never alone.  Lasting friendships evolve because we are pursuing the same goal. Often, the relationships at our club help us in other aspects of our lives.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray and Love was a highly acclaimed bestseller.  But in truth, it lacked the very necessary whole life ingredient we call fitness. Here is my message to you as a woman who has tried and failed many, many times on her fitness and weight loss journey.  If you want to perform your best, feel terrific and be strong enough to deal with the rigors of the day, don’t wait any longer...join a women’s-only fitness center right away.  

 

So What Say YOU?

If you belong to an all-women's gym we would love to hear why you choose it. Drop us a comment in the section below!

 

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Topics: women's health, exercises for women, Women's Wellness, fitness for women

Why Do You Need a Personal Trainer?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 18, 2012 11:49:00 AM

For More Reasons Than You Think...

I was a dancer -- ballet primarily. During the years in dance class, two things happened: I developed an internal mind/body connection balanced with an external good eye for form. Years later I tried Pilates, and just as with dance, the choreography and flow of Pilates came easily and made sense to me. After being an active gym member for years, teaching Pilates was my first professional foray into the Fitness Industry. I found that I really enjoyed seeing that people who regularly took my classes increased their strength and flexibility, and hadworking with a personal trainer more control of their bodies. Yet, I discovered that in a class setting, I was unable to give the personal attention some people needed. I decided to take the next step for my clients and became a Personal Trainer working with people one on one.

My Pilates training definitely influences the types of workouts I design for my personal training clients. I always have Pilates Principles in mind during their exercises. "Do the clients have proper form?" "Are their movements controlled?" "Is their strength and flexibility balanced?"

That idea of "balance" is so important in the lives of women asomething I understand as the mom of three teens and is expressed in my larger exercise philosophy. The stress of
every day life needs to be balanced by activities that make a woman feel good physically and mentally.  Exercise is one of the core things you can do for  yourself to live your life successfully. If you are  a gardener, get in shape so you can work in the yard without suffering days of back pain.  If you like to travel, get in shape so you can walk on cobblestones in Europe without losing your balance or haul a suitcase without hurting your shoulder. If you enjoy a sport, train for it so you can play your game, injury-free, for many years to come. Exercise can balance out your stress and makes your body feel and work better.

A Personal Trainer can help you achieve that body. It is worth the investment in you.

Find out More about What a Personal Trainer Can Do For You...

 

Article submitted by:

Jen R resized 600

Jennifer Rogers

Certified Personal Trainer at The Women's Club

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Topics: personal training, fitness for women, personal training for women

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