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The new year is bringing lots of new, motivated faces into the studio, which is FABULOUS! As someone who attends classes, I love sharing my beloved studio with new people. So to all the newbies, welcome! And to all of you who left S.W.E.A.T for a while and came back, welcome back!

Just before Christmas, I noticed a few people, who had decided to try their first R.I.P.P.E.D. class. They were struggling with some of the jargon and moves that Jess was throwing at us. Jess always tries to explain moves and call out modifications but she doesn’t always have time with how fast some classes move.

Jess and I worked together to explain some of the most popular and more problematic exercises so that you can read through them and practice a little at home. Less confusion during these fast moving, crowded classes is always a good thing. Even us “veterans” can learn a thing or two from this list. I’ve been going to S.W.E.A.T. for over a year and I definitely picked up a few things I didn’t know.

Read through the list and if you still don’t understand an exercise or movement, ask in class. Jess and all of the instructors are always more than happy to help. This list will also be available at the studio for anyone who would like to take one.

Burpees aka Squat Thrust: Start with feet shoulder width apart, arms at your sides. Push your hips back, lower your body into a deep squat and place your hands on the floor. Jump your legs back so that you are now in a push-up position (the wider your feet placement the more stable your core will be, the closer more core work and harder the exercise is). At this point, you may also add a push up. Next quickly bring our legs back to the squat position. Stand up and repeat the entire movement. Burpees are a full body exercise, working nearly all of your muscle groups.

Pushup: Get down on all fours, placing your hands on the floor so they are slightly wider than and in-line with your shoulders. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Tuck your elbows as you lower your body so that your upper arm forms a 45-degree angle. Pause at the bottom, then push yourself back to starting position. Tip: If your hips sag at any point during the exercise, your form has broken. You may consider doing the exercise from your knees. Things to remember: your head should stay in the same position from start to finish; brace your abdominal muscles during the exercise to keep your body rigid and work your core; your body should form a straight line from your head to our ankles during the exercise. Push ups will work your chest muscles.

Rear lateral raise S.W.E.A.T. Fitness

Rear lateral raise

Standing Flys aka Rear Lateral Raise: With dumbbells in hand, feet hip width apart, bend forward at your hips until your body is nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang straight down from the shoulders, palms facing each other. Without moving your torso (body), raise your arms out to the sides until they are in-line with your body. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do this exercise. Tip: Don’t stare straight down at your feet, you will tense your neck. Look down but out, away from your feet. This exercise will work your shoulders.

Tricep Kickbacks: Stand feet hip width or staggered with one behind the other. Bend forward from the hips and keep your arms at 90-degree angle. Your upper arm (elbow to shoulder) should remaining parallel with your body. Extend your forearm (elbow to wrist) behind you almost to straight and then return to start position. Do not round your lower back, keep your upper arm still. Tip: Don’t stare straight down at your feet, you will tense your neck. Look down but out, away from your feet. Obviously, this exercise works your triceps.

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Tricep dips on the floor

Tricep dips on the floor

Tricep Dips: Can be done on floor, off a chair or bench. Position your hands shoulder width apart on a stable surface with your fingers facing forward. Extend your legs forward. If on a bench or chair slide body off to positioning just in front of the bench or chair.) Lower your body towards the floor, bending the elbows behind you to 90-degree angle. Once you reach the bottom of the movement push into the surface (floor, bench, chair) to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. Tip: Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise. Tricep dips work your triceps.

Dumbbell Deadlift (Straight-leg Deadlift): Hold dumbbells with an overhand grip, arms length in front of your thighs. Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent (only slightly, not locked out).  Without changing the bend of your knees, bend from hips, lowering your chest until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then raise back to start position. As you lower, keep weights close to body as possible , back should remain flat throughout the entire movement. Tip: Make sure you keep a flat back as you go down. This will help you feel the pull in the back of your legs. Deadlifts will work your hamstrings, glutes, back and a little bit of the core.

Weighted split squat

Weighted split squat

Split Squat: Stand in a staggered stance (one foot in front of the other),  feet about 2-3 feet apart.  Brace your core, keeping torso upright the entire time. Slowly lower your body as far as you can. Your rear knee should nearly touch the floor and your front knee should never cross your toes.  Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete reps, then do the same number with your opposite foot in the front. Tip: Forward lunges are similar in that you take the same posturing during the exercise, but once you reach the top of the exercise you bring both feet together and then step out again. In the split squat, you stay in the staggered stance and movement is all up and down. Split squats will work your quads, calves, hamstrings and lower back.

Squat: (there are many variations of this exercise this is just the basic) Set feet shoulder width apart, keeping your weight in your heels, not on your toes. Brace your abs and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your head up and chest lifted as you lower your body. Pause at the bottom and slowly push yourself back to the start position. Tip: When doing this exercise, go down as if you are about to sit on a chair, then come back up. Squats work your quads, glutes and hamstrings.

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness leg exercises

Curtsey lunge or “spidermans”

Spiderman Lunges (Curtsy Lunges): Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step back with your left leg, crossing it behind your right. Bend your knees and lower your hips, until your right thigh is nearly parallel with the floor. Keep your torso upright, your hips and shoulders as square as possible. Repeat in other direction. Spidermans will work your inner thighs, quads and calves.

Down Dog (Downward Facing Dog): Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips. Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside down “V” shape. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes. Relax your head between your arms and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button.

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio stretches

Child’s pose

Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor, placing your hands and knees shoulder-and hip-width apart. Put the top of your feet flat on the floor and point your toes. Lean back so that you are sitting on your heels. Stretch your arms forward as far as they can go without rising off your heels. Put your head down and rest your forehead on the floor. Stretch your arms and fingers out, while relaxing your head and neck and keeping your back straight.

Quad Stretch: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Grab one of your ankles or foot. Gently pull your foot to your buttocks. Only go as far as is comfortable. Keep in mind, when stretching you should feel tension in the quad but not pain. Go slow and stop if it becomes painful. Hold the stretch for twenty to thirty seconds. Repeat the same stretch on the other leg. Tip: While you stretch don’t hold your breath and keep your legs parallel. If you have trouble balancing hold onto a chair, the wall or a friend.

-Aimee, blogger for ReBath Northeast and S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio