Elevate Your Shoulder Workout!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 8, 2013 11:39:00 AM

Raising the Bar on Shoulder Exercises for Women

Nothing makes a tank top or little black dress look better then having a great set of sculpted shoulders. In this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women we chose this terrifc shoulder-shaper which uses the body bar to help you get those toned, sexy deltoids rockin'!

Rotator Curl with the Body Bar

Target: Shoulders

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, gripping center of bar with left hand, arms

by sides, palms facing in. Posture counts, be sure that you are standing tall, lifting

through your ribcage!

2. Bend left elbow 90 degrees so that forearm is at waist level and bar isrotator curl with bar

perpendicular to floor.

3. Keeping elbow bent by ribs, rotate left forearm out to left side.

4. Return forearm to forward position to complete 1 rep.

5. Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions on each side.

Note: Start with a light bar, perhaps a 4 lb. bar. This shoulder exercise for women can also be done with a dumbbell. If the 4 lb. bar is too heavy, try a lighter dumbbell.

 

10 more shoulder exercises for women

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Fitness Magazine

 

The Trust Report

 

 

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Topics: strength training, arm exercises, exercise programs for women

See How Easily You Can Get Your "Sexy Back"

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jul 19, 2013 1:48:00 PM

Most people spend far more time working the muscles on the front of their bodies and little time focusing on their back. That is why we have selected the reverse fly or bent over reverse fly as this month's essential exercise for women because it focuses on this area that is so often overlooked. 

We've Got Your Back 

Recently, I have noticed that many of our members have exceptionally weak back muscles. An exercise that I love and do with many of my clients is the Reverse Fly. This is an exercise that is done with free weights and can be done on days you do weight training exercises.


exercises for a beautiful back resized 600
You can do reverse flies while standing, sitting or lying down. If you are standing, spread your feet hip-width apart and lean forward at a 45-degree angle with your arms down by your legs. If you are sitting, lean forward and hold the dumbbells by your calves. If you want to lie down during the reverse fly, lie on your stomach on a flat weight bench with your arms hanging off of either side of the bench. Choose light weight to begin! It is much better to start light and increase your weight until you determine what weight is right for you!!

Standing Reverse Fly

Standing Reverse Fly resized 600


How it's done
To do a bent over reverse fly, hold your back straight and tighten your abs. Make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent as you raise both of your arms. Arms should raise up slightly higher than your back, almost as if you are flapping imaginary wings. As you lift, pull your shoulder blades together, then lower your arms slowly back into starting position. Do 2-3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions to complete the exercise. If you find that this seems too easy, try increasing the weight of your dumbbells.

 

Seated Reverse Fly

Seated Reverse Fly resized 600
Keep these points in mind...
If you have any joint, back or muscular problems, be sure to consult your medical professional before attempting reverse fly exercises. Also, if you find lifting both dumbbells at the same time to be a challenge, you can alternate your arms so only one is lifting at a time. This is called an alternating reverse fly. As always, if you need guidance with this exercise, ask a personal trainer for help!

If you live in the Northern VA area (Chantilly, Fairfax, Herndon or Centreville) we would be more than happy to assist you. Schedule a free consulation and find out how a female certified personal trainer on our staff can help you reach your fitness goals!

 

 

 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston

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Topics: exercises for women, strength training, back health

Finally Get Shapely, Toned Calves You'll LOVE to Show Off

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 24, 2013 3:08:00 PM

Stand and Deliver

Every woman wants to have a great pair of legs...you know those gorgeous gams you see peeking out of skirt or leading up from a terrific pair of shoes? Shapely toned calves are a big part of creating that look, but they are also very important for stability, posture and mobility. The low-intensity exercise of calf raises is a simple but excellent way to strengthen and tone your calf muscles, when done regularly and why we chose it as this month's Essential Exercise for Women. 

 

Standing Calf Raise

standing calf raise

Stand tall, with feet a comfortable distance apart, no more than a few inches. Make sure that feet are pointing straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. This is your starting position. Raise yourself slowly until you are standing on the balls of your feet, squeeze the lower leg muscles and hold for 1 second. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat for 2 or 3 sets of 12-15. Need help with your balance? Grab on to the back of a chair or place you hands against a wall until your calves are stronger and you can maintain your balance more easily. 

 

Step it up!

calf raises with step

Kick those calf raises into high gear and stand on a step to do this exercise. This increases the level of difficulty. 

Note: Beginners should perform this exercise on the floor and it is advised to perform the exercise in front of a trainer, to be sure you are performing it correctly!

 

Get Sexy Legs from Hip to Ankle with these Great Moves:

 

What Can We Show You?

We love, love, love showing you moves you can use each month but we want to know what you want to see! Drop us a note in the comment section below or click to button to submit the body part(s) you need the most help with and we will share with you some ways you can target those trouble spots and get results! So what are ya waitin' for? Click. Type. Send!

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here
 

 

 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston, Director of Personal Training at The Women's Club

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Topics: exercises for women, leg exercises, strength training

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

Best Exercise to Ditch Arm Flab Forever!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 5, 2012 1:15:00 PM

Train Your Tri's!

how to get rid of arm flab

If I had a dollar for every time a client has asked me how to get rid of the flabby part of the back of their arm, I would be very wealthy! While there is no easy fix, there are many fabulous exercises that target the triceps and if done correctly, bye-bye flab!

 

A little background on the triceps. They are a “small” muscle, as opposed to large
muscles like the bicep. They are easily forgotten muscles. Most people think that if they
are working their arms, such as in bicep curls, they are targeting the whole arm. Wrong!
We are targeting the main, large group and forgetting our small little triceps in the back.

Tricep Extensions are a great exercise for women that target the triceps and this variation using the stability ball adds intensity
and challenges the core!

 

How to Do It:

1. To perform a triceps extension on a stability ball, get into a bridge position on the
ball. Holding your weights close to your sides, slowly roll from a seated position
onto your back until the ball is under your head, neck and upper portion of your
shoulders. Keep your hips up by pushing through your feet and bending your
knees at a 90-degree angle. Pull in your abs to keep your back straight.


2. Fully extend your arms without locking your elbows straight up from the shoulder
point. Slowly lower the weight by bending your elbows until they are a little less
than a 90-degree bend. Fully extend your arms and repeat.

Perform 10 to 15 for general strength and stability training.


Precautions: During the exercise, don’t move your shoulders and be sure to keep
your hips up. If you are having difficulty performing this exercise on the ball, move
to the floor! 

Article Submitted by: Pennie Waston

 

Want More Arm Flab Fighting Exercises?

We would love to help you tame that arm flab as well as any of your other trouble spots! 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, toning, strength training, arm exercises, Strength training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Jumping Power Lunges

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 9, 2012 3:00:00 PM

 BOSU Exercises

Have you ever spotted that odd-looking half moon shaped ball at the gym and wondered "What the heck is that?" This edition of Essential Exercises for Women showcases that little fitness gem and it is called the BOSU Balance Trainer. The BOSU (stand for 'Both Sides Up' or 'Both Sides Utilized' meaning you can use both the rounded and flat parts) is a great tool to use to add variety and challenge to your workout and has many benefits; such as strengthening the entire body as well as adding unexpected cardio moves to raise your heart rate. These Jumping Power Lunges we are about to show you are a great example of you can get you heart pumping while challenging all of the muscles in your lower body!


Jumping Power Lunges


1. Face the BOSU Trainer and place the right foot in the center of the dome.

 

2. Lower into a lunge (the front knee should be behind the toe).

 

3. As you press up, jump up and switch legs in the air, landing with the left foot on the dome, right foot back.

bosujumplunge resized 600

4. Continue jumping and switching legs for 10 to 15 reps. This endurance move will challenge the heart rate, strengthen the lower body and core.

 

This move may be a little advanced for some if your are unfamiliar with using the BOSU. If you are a BOSU balance newbie, we recommend starting with a basic lunge before adding in the jump in order to learn how to stabilize your foot on the trainer.

 

Other Great BOSU Exercises:

For the Beginner

 

To Improve Your Balance

 

For Your Arms 

 

For Your Abs 

 

If there is a specific area that you would like to address using the BOSU please drop us a line in our comment section or click here to submit your question through our site. Our personal trainers would be happy to help you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, strength training, thigh toning, cardio, fitness tips

Essential Exercises for Women: The Invisible Chair

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 6, 2010 3:52:00 PM

 

There are a million different reasons why people don't work out. It becomes especially challenging during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. When you find your time stretched to its absolute limit or you are traveling, finding time to fit in exercise may be harder than ever. But just because you can't carve out time to go to the gym doesn't mean that you can't exercise. Here is a great move that needs no equipment and can be performed anywhere, anytime to activate and firm core muscles as well as hips and glutes.

The "Invisble Chair" done anywhere!

wall sit exercise for women

1.  Put your back against a wall and your hands clasped together in front of your chest or with your palms resting on your knees.

2.  Walk your feet forward while pressing the entire back against the wall until you have come to a 90 degree angle with your knees.  From the side it seems that you are sitting in an “invisible chair”. 

3.  Continue to take deep breaths and hold the position 30 seconds, then move up to 60 seconds or perhaps even 90 seconds! 

That's all there is to it! This exercise is a simple, easy and effective way to work your core and lower body so grab a wall and relax in your Invisible Chair!

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, toning, exercise while travelling, strength training, fitness tips, fitness for women, Strength training for women, exercise at home

Is Pilates a Waste of Time or a Gold Mine of Fitness for Women?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 28, 2010 11:30:00 AM

 

"I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier." -- Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86.

Can you imagine using precious gym time to perform small, precise movements that strengthen muscles deep in the body that can't even be seen?

To many women that sounds like a waste of precious gym time. Exercise without extreme sweating and heavy weight lifting doesn't feel like 'real' exercise, especially to women indoctrinated in the 'no pain, no gain' philosophy of the 70's and 80's. That mindset is hard to shake.

The fact is, brute muscle force isn't usually necessary in everyday life, or in most recreational sports activities. In bodybuilding for example, strength is limited to the position where the muscle contraction takes place. The focus is on the large 'mover muscles' that are visible under the skin. The stronger the muscle being contracted gets, the more work it takes on. Eventually it takes over the roles of the smaller, surrounding, supporting muscles. If the body constantly recruits the wrong muscle for a job, it results in a muscular imbalance. This leads to chronic tension, pain, and eventually, injury.

Pilates develops and conditions the deepest supporting muscles in the body to work in concert with the mover muscles, as intended. The resulting ability to stabilize the spine, shoulders, and pelvis creates a strong core, or "Powerhouse", as it is known in Pilates. Powerhouse is a very descriptive term. When control in this area of the body is developed, you have the ability to create power ­ over and over again. The ability to create power repeatedly is known as endurance that is needed in sports and everyday life.

Just as the development of supporting muscles is important, soWoman doing Pilates Stretch too is proper muscle length. Long, over-stretched muscles don't move smoothly and short, tight muscles can't move through a full range of motion. If a muscle is shorter or longer than its counterpart, unequal forces surround the joint, and that can create pain and tension. In Pilates, the focus on continuous, flowing movements teaches the body to release tension and regulate flexibility while building strength.

We all agree it's beneficial to find balance in our lives. It's just as important to balance our bodies. Pilates exercises will help you do that. The benefits of Pilates - core strength, endurance, flexibility and stability - are the elements that most often come into play in everyday life and in recreational activities. This makes Pilates a fantastic foundation for, and complement to, cycling, gardening, golf, tennis, running, swimming ­ you name it, Pilates will help.

Women often turn to Pilates as a last resort when imbalances in the body, from years of 'no pain, no gain' exercise has left them injured. Pilates is a wonderful rehabilitation tool, but using these techniques to prevent injury is better than any cure.

So, reprogram your exercise brain. An exercise worthy of 'gym time' should not be measured in pain and strain, but in the way it improves your ability to move through your everyday life with endurance, flexibility, strength, ease and efficiency.  Try Pilates classes and enhance your performance. It's not only worthy of gym time, it may be your most valuable time at the gym.

Submitted by:

Jennifer Rogers, Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer at The Women's Club

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Topics: exercises for women, Pilates, strength training, exercise classes, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women

How Fitness Boot Camp for Women Can Help You Get Big Results

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 26, 2010 10:42:00 AM

In the past, few women would have considered joining a fitness boot camp as an answer to their weight loss and fitness problems. However, today the obvious benefits of these boot camps workouts have made many women reconsider the advantages of using a fitness boot camp to improve their fitness. Many women have discovered that regardless of their current fitness and exercise level, it is very hard to beat the health and fitness benefits of consistent and regular boot camp workouts.

An important reason motivating women to choose a fitness boot camp is that the fitness boot camps offer one of the best workouts for rapid weight loss. Even women that have had difficultly losing weight in the past or following through on an exercise program have found great results after joining a boot camp class. A well-designed boot camp class will offer a progression of each exercise for novice, intermediate and advanced boot camp participants. As you gain fitness and strength, the progressive difficulty of each exercise will continue to challenge you.

boot campers with hands in

One reason that boot camp workouts work so well for weight loss and toning muscle is that these fitness workouts are based on exercise science and physiology, using the proven techniques of resistance and cardiovascular training, as well as specific weight training exercises. Building muscle is essential to boosting the body's metabolism and effectively and efficiently losing weight by burning more calories throughout the day.

Another reason that fitness boot camps are such a great way to get into shape and lose weight is that they provide structure and consistency. Without having structure to your fitness program, and consistently participating, your chances of reaching your goal of having a great looking and fit body are greatly reduced. With a fitness boot camp, not only are the workouts intense enough to provide you with the results you want, but you will find that the personal trainers and instructors help provide the necessary motivation to keep you consistent.

Fitness boot camps also provide significant health benefits. One of the most important health concerns for women is heart disease; so cardiovascular health should be one of the main goals when choosing an exercise program. Boot camp workouts provide enough cardio exercise to help keep a heart healthy and reducing the chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Another benefit of the boot camp classes is the decreasing risk of osteoporosis by improving bone density. The weight-bearing exercises often found in a boot camp workout are important in increasing a woman's bone density.

Another added benefit of fitness boot camp workouts for women is time management. In many cases its possible to get a full body workout in a brief 45 to 60 minute workout while burning over 600 calories. These fitness boot camps are typically far better than other workout programs which can often take much longer to burn the same number of calories. These high-intensity, fat-burning and muscle toning workouts can be a time savings to the busy professional woman.

Women from many fitness and health backgrounds can benefit from fitness boot camps specifically for women. Signing up for a fitness boot camp may be one of the best ways to get in shape and lose weight.

Have more questions or are ready to get started with a fitness boot camp for women right here in the Chantilly area? Click HERE to request more information.

 

Adpated from an article by John M. Martinez, M.D. and Greg Griffin

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Topics: exercises for women, strength training, boot camp for women, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, bootcamp exercise classes, weight loss for women, Strength training for women

Fat Burning Fitness For Women -- 9 ways to Kick It Up a Notch

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 2, 2010 3:02:00 PM

  

1. Warm up before a strength training session Warming up increases blood flow to muscles by about 55%, giving you better muscle contraction. You’ll sweat earlier, which helps to regulate your body temperature. Just 5 minutes of walking or cycling will meet this requirement.


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2. Vary your cardio exercises – Alternate between two or more cardiovascular activities like walking and cycling or kickboxing and step aerobics. This will help to optimally develop your cardiovascular fitness, maintain the element of fun in exercise, help you avoid over-training, as well as injury. Bottom line, you will expend more calories.

3. Incorporate several cardio techniques - Changing techniques forces your body to adapt and become more efficient. Vary the intensity and modify impact styles. For example, if you have been walking the same path at the same pace every day, begin to incorporate bursts of speed intermittently. The underlying principle is that change is what keeps the body progressing, making improvements and burning fat.

4. Circuit Train – Perform several strengthening exercises interspersed with a short cardio segments. For example perform a leg press, lateral pull down and abdominal crunch followed by 3 minutes of cycling. Then repeat another 3 strength exercises followed by 3 minutes of walking. Circuit training has a lower dropout rate (which means you will stick with it longer), is an efficient calorie burner, increases muscular strength and decreases body fat.


5. Strength Train with Multi Joint exercises – Choose exercises that work compound muscle groups – meaning more than one muscle group at a time. This will give you the most bang for your buck. Examples include squats, lunges, and push ups. For every pound of muscle on your body you need 35 to 50 calories per day to sustain it, while every pound of fat on your body requires only a modest 2 calories per day.


6. Exercise first thing in the morning – Morning exercisers have a higher likelihood of showing up. Later in the day, the odds that you’ll skip your workout increase as interruptions things come up and fatigue sets in. Morning exercise also helps regulate your hormone response, telling your body to release fat and kick start your metabolism.


7. Eat a “primer” meal prior to working out – Having a small balanced meal prior to exercise will help you burn fat. After you eat, your blood sugar rises and exercise acts like insulin to help regulate blood glucose. Eating will also give you the energy for a more intense workout – you will therefore burn more calories.


8. Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day – Food has a thermic effect, meaning it takes energy (calories) for your body to digest the food you eat. Eating several times throughout the day increases the thermic effect, so you burn more calories. Eating more often also keeps you from feeling like you are being deprived of food and prevents hunger from setting in, which can cause you to binge eat. Learning to eat smart is and essential part of any weight loss program for women.


9. Train with intensity – To get the full benefits of exercise for women, you must graduate from the “pink weights” and moderate walking. Do not be afraid to increase your resistance and challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. In order to change, you have to push your physical limits beyond what you are accustomed to.

 

*Adapted from an article by fitness expert and certified personal trainer Kelli Callabrese

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Topics: strength training, weigh loss, fitness tips, fat burning, nutrition

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