12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 7

Triceps Press Lunges #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday From my Booty Camp DVD/APP…

(After the last move, this is a great way to work opposing muscle group)

Do 20 alternating forward lunges while lifting one or two heavy weights overhead into a tricep french press. You do this by bringing your weights together overhead and bending the elbows. The weight is now behind your neck. Lunge forward. As you bring the leg back to stand tall, lift the weight back overhead by extending the elbows. Be sure to keep the arms right next to your head and elbows pointing forward, not out to the sides.

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12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 6

Biceps Curl Lunges #12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday From my Destination: Wedding Workout DVD/APP

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Start with 20 alternating back lunges  (be sure to step far back and keeping the front knee directly over the ankle as you lower.) It becomes a multi-tasker by adding front bicep curls when you come back to a standing position. Use weights heavy enough for you to feel challenged after 15 reps. Keep your abs tight. Lower the weights as you lunge back again.

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Fitness – fit it in over the holidays! Nikki

 

12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 5

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday

The next move, from my Booty Camp DVD/APP works the shoulders and inner thighs (since we worked outer thighs yesterday).

chest press plea squat larger

Assume a plea squat position by standing with feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes pointed out to the sides. Bend knees at a 90 degree angle so that your knees are directly over the heels and your waist is almost at knee level.

Engage your abs, start a shoulder overhead press with 10 lbs+ weights in your hands, palms facing forward, in line with your ears. Straighten the elbows and press weights to the ceiling as you straighten the legs. Bring weights back down and end at your ear level, as you squat back toward the floor, taking care not to bounce weights into your shoulders. Do the plea squat shoulder press for 15-20 reps.

Fitness – fit it in during the holidays!

Exercise Routines In Household Games

Much is made these days of the various workout apps available to mobile users. There are apps that track your runs, demonstrate exercises, (at least attempt to) count your calories, and even one that incentivizes running by making a game out of running away from digital zombies. Some of these exercise apps can be very simple, but a lot of the time they’re more trouble than they’re worth. They can also make users forget just how simple (and enjoyable) it can be to design an effective exercise routine that plays like a game. So here are a few everyday workout games you can play without a mobile app, and which can help you to see real results.

The Push-Up Card Game

 

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There are several variations of this game, but Nexercise explains it in perhaps its simplest form. Basically, the idea is to use a deck of cards to dictate a push-up routine, with each numbered card representing a set number of repetitions, and each face card representing the next value up (so after 10, a Jack is 11, a Queen is 12, a King is 13, and an Ace is 14, though Aces can also be 1 depending on your desired intensity). One way to go about this workout is to do it with a partner and have colours dictate who does push-ups, so that each time you flip a card, red or black decides which of you does push-ups and the number decides how many. Another way to use the suits is to do the workout on your own and have them dictate which type of push-up you do for each card.

The Nexercise article has some helpful suggestions for this style of the game, including wide arm push-ups for Spades and other ideas. It’s a more difficult game than it sounds like, and if you’re not already in an upper-body workout routine, you’ll want to start with half a deck at the most. Still, it’s a fun and effective way to build up your strength and endurance.

Exercise Bingo

Exercise bingo is a wonderful idea that was written about at Military Fitness, and it allows you a great deal of freedom and flexibility to work on different exercises. It’s also very simple. Basically, the idea is to design a bingo card with each square representing a different exercise, and then play the game as you ordinarily would, completing exercises along the way. Another way to play the game, however, if you want to up the stakes so to speak, is to go online and find a real bingo site to serve as a platform for your own version of the game.

Now, this is still a simple practice far different from downloading a mobile exercise app, and instead it is essentially a way to enhance an existing game. But it can make for some inspiring competition between you and your friends or family. The bonus options at Betfair, one of the leading platforms, include free start-off budgets for newly established accounts. This gives you the option to play online bingo with real money on the line, something that could easily be twisted into an incentive for the exercise game. For example, if you really want to get competitive, use the online game to coordinate with your exercise bingo card and give whatever winnings there may be to whomever performs the most exercises over the course of a game!

These are just a couple of examples of the ways in which everyday games can be turned into exercise tools and motivations. And if you do a quick search, there are dozens of other examples—versions of these games, and additional games dealing with cards, casino activities, board games, etc.—that provide simple, household workout ideas. Just remember: any card can be turned into an exercise trigger, and any square on a gaming board can have a task attached to it.

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays: Day 4

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday

The next move, from my Booty Camp DVD/APP works the upper back, abs and outer thighs.

Get down on your hands and knees. Use medium-sized weights and balance on them. Lift your right arm out to the side while lifting your bent left leg out to the left side (we call this the hydrant, get it?). Repeat each side x20.

up back hydrantFitness – fit it in this holiday season! Nikki

 

Apps and Gadgets to Motivate and Increase Productivity

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The technology industry is the fastest growing, most innovative industry in the world right now, and every week it seems that some new gizmo, doo-dad or application is released by the world’s tech wizards. A fair few of these releases are completely pointless and trivial pieces of tech, more likely to drain away your precious time and energy than bolster it, however there are some truly excellent products out there than can really help boost your motivation and claw back all of that otherwise wasted time. Here are some of our favourites.

Headspace

Utilised for thousands of years, the act of meditation is widely regarded as being far more than simply a pseudo-eastern activity enjoyed by ultra-progressives. Meditation can increase one’s levels of concentration, drive and purpose, whilst at the same time clearing the mind of cluttered thoughts and allowing one to live a healthier life and lifestyle. Headspace is the app of choice for those that need a little help with their first tentative steps into the world of meditation.

 

GlobalGamingClub

We all need a little relaxation in our days, though even during these small, stolen moments motivation can be found! Getting online and logging in to GamingClub.com/mobile-casino is not just great fun- the site has a huge number and variety of games- but could also be a productive endeavour. Lots of the site’s games allow users to play with, and win, real money, thus making the banal act of playing games all that more exciting! Put your winnings back into your gym membership or fitness DVD budget.

 

Jawbone Up

Gadgets that ‘attach’ wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet are all the rage this year, smartwatches being the big new innovation to hit stores and consumers’ wallets. If one of these products had to be crowned king of the wearable gadget kingdom however, it would have to be the Jawbone Up, a device worn like a bracelet that tracks your mood, diet and sleeping patterns, sending the data to your phone. It also can act as an alarm clock, waking you at the most naturally beneficial part of your sleep cycle. From your phone, all of your biometrics can be reviewed and acted upon.

 

Slimnastics Workout Apps

And if you need a workout to match your wireless motivation, try one of my 11 NikkiFitness App videos like Baby Bootie Camp, Hard Core Abs, The Slimnastics Workout, Booty Camp, Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Beach Bride: Destination Wedding Workout, The Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, The Fit Travel Workout, Military Wife Workout, Red Carpet Runway Workout, and the new Slimnastics Anti-Aging Walking Workout!

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

12 Days of Christmas Fitness Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays! Day 2:

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday

On the 2nd day, I gave to my body: 30sec Kick Butt, Jump Tuck Intervals!

This move is from my Slimnastics Book+ Video (DVD/App/Download):

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Jump in the air and kick your butt with your heels. Land soft and rebound up into the air.

This time bring your knees in front of you up to belly button level and “hit’ your elbows with them. Land soft again with knees bent (think of them like shocks of a car)..

Repeat for a 30 second Kick Butt, Calorie-Busting Cardio Interval!

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12 Days of Christmas Moves to Fight the Heavy Holidays! Day 1:

#12DaysOfChristmas #fitness #moveoftheday From my Hard Core Abs DVD!

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Everyone asks about abdominal toning moves, and between Thanksgiving and January 30, I get the most questions about great moves for this area.

Here is one that I love, because you can change it to 3 different levels, from modified to advanced, to athlete.

I will explain the “athlete” or level 3 as pictured here, and then explain how to modify it.

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Athlete (Level 3, pictured): Lay on the floor with one weight the size of what you would use to challenge yourself with 15 bicep curls. I usually use 10-15 pounds.

Hold the fat ends of the weight in each palm and lay on your back.

Extend our arms and legs long – this is set position.

To crunch, lift the weight with your arms straight, like a lat pull-over, while you bend your legs into your chest. LIFT THE SHOULDERS off the mat as you reach your hands toward your shoelaces. You will be crunched in as tight as you can, with your gaze on the ceiling to keep the neck in line with the spine.

Return to set position WITHOUT resting legs on the floor, let them hover about 3 inches from the floor for each rep.

Do as many of these as you can while keeping your lower back pressed into the floor. Remember the number you can do in the first set and take a break while completing some of your usual workout moves or cardio. Return and try to do close to the same number again. Break and repeat for a 3rd set. You will likely be able to do more the first time and work down as your abs fatigue.

To modify:

Beginner (Level 1) – do not use a weight. Extend arms overhead and straighten legs up to the ceiling instead 90 degrees from the floor, feet over hips (set position). Reach your straight arms up to ceiling and down towards your shoelaces as described above while bending the knees into the chest and lifting the shoulders off the mat. Return to set (feet to ceiling).

Advanced (Level 2) – follow the athlete instructions, but use a 5-8 pound weight and set position for your straight legs is a 45 degree angle between the ceiling and the floor, or about 2 feet off the floor.

Don’t forget that half the battle is 3 days of cardio per week and every day following a diet of lots of water, and 5-6 small meals of lean protein like fish and chicken, whole wheat carbs (yes, even pasta), natural fruit and veggies, and calcium from sources like skim milk and yogurt. Include nuts like almonds and walnuts and always plan ahead to keep your tank 1/4 full. When you are running on empty is when you make poor food choices.

Nikki

NYC Fitness Expert Class Review of Chelsea Piers Adult Gymnastics!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.58.34 PMNikkiFitness Faves: NYC Boutique Class Review of Adult Gymnastics as Chelsea Piers!

I work in fitness, and I love it so much, that sampling the city’s hottest boutique classes has become a hobby.

And, different from other bloggers out there who write about taking classes, I am actually certified in group fitness/yoga/personal training, and have been teaching and training for over 15 years. I know what works, what doesn’t, what’s dangerous, and what’s a gimmick.

Ratings- “Boost”: what was great and different/”Sweat”: how tough of a workout/”Safety”: what I don’t love/ “Fun Factor”: was it as much fun as a night out?

1=lowest 10=highest rating (60= perfect 10s)

Chelsea Piers Adult Gymnastics Class 23rd Street and Hudson River Park, NYC (TOTAL= 56 out of 60: my best score ever!)

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The Look:  9- It’s a large, clean and bright facility with a tall arena-like ceiling, which gives you confidence and space to breathe from the start. The class alternated in size but was about 10 people on average. From the bouncy floor, to nets and huge padded apparatuses to help you preform each challenge, you feel like a kid training for the Olympics. They also have a huge pool, gym, rock climbing, batting cages, soccer, boating, golf driving range, and much more.

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 1.00.55 PMThe Boost Factor: 10-  Even if you’re not a flexible person or can’t even handle a front roll in your kid’s gym program, you can still do amazing things with your body and you’ll feel powerful. Doing a back handspring, was actually on my very own bucket list this year. I had been a college cheerleader, but was the only one who never took gymnastics classes, so I had to do extra (and I mean extra!) time learning it in college. At this class they give you extra time to work on the skill you have your heart set on that day.

The Sweat Factor: 8-  Not so much sweat as just dead tired afterwards, which counts, big time. It’s not full out effort the whole time, because you do your stunt, and then wait for the next group to finish and take instruction from the coaches. But when you do the stunts… it takes body-weight workouts to the next level! You’ll need a nap afterwards, even if you’re in good shape. At Chelsea Piers, and many other gymnastics facilities across the country, they offer adult gymnastics classes for $30. When personal training is much more than that, it’s a bargain for really surprising your body and priced like a boutique fitness class.

The Safety Factor: 9- The warm-up lasted at least 15 minutes (the entire class is 1.5 hours) and included crab walks, plank jump-back and skipping, stretching, and more. There are so many “toys” to help you with each trick, it looks like an oversized kid’s bouncy house or indoor toddler gym. You never move onto more of a challenge until you are ready and the staff is good at spotting.

Sore Factor: 10– Oh My Goodness. I could not raise my arms straight above my head for 5 days…. And I teach everything from plyometric bootcamps to yoga  and lift heavy weights. The trick with doing these tricks, is that you work your body in a different range of motion and find little muscles you normally don’t work hard, then ask them to hold you as flip around and down on them. It hurts so good.

Fun Factor: 10 –We practiced handstands, cartwheels, back rolls into handstands, round-offs, and cartwheels-to-handstands on the boingy floor, which is so fun to even just jump around on. Then the great part: they have ball pits (think Chuck E. Cheese’s as a kid) to fall into; huge padded wheels and mats to practice easy and safe front walkovers and handsprings from, and spotters for the back handsprings. I nailed it after a few times (with a spotter). It was like riding a bike… if that bike was throwing yourself backwards and upside down hoping to land on your hands!

My Video: