Best Workout Videos – Energizing Videos To Improve Your Body

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Sep 012010

It is time to get in shape, lose weight, firm up, and most importantly have some great fun in your own home. The best workout videos take exercising at home from boring drudgery to exciting and entertaining.

Not everyone has the time to run to a gym and workout with a great trainer and a class full of other inspired people. Working out at home can seem very isolating and leave you feeling very unmotivated. If you want to really kick up your home workouts, and not feel so alone, try one of the following workout videos.

If you love aerobic dance to burn the calories and get your heart thumping one of the best workout videos you can buy is Dance Off The Inches: Hip Hop Party by Jennifer Galardi. This video has great fast paced music and a great dance routine to go along with the Hip Hop music. If you have children they are going to want to join the party.

Guys, If you are going to hit the weights at home and need to learn a great workout and pump up the inspiration it is time to workout with Ronnie Coleman. This 8-time Mr. Olympia will teach you all about getting a big pump, the proper way to lift, and get you chomping at the bit to workout hard.

For anyone who wants a power packed, fast paced, energizing, and inspiring workout it is time to grab one of the best workout videos of all time, Billy Blanks: Ultimate Tae Bo. If Billy cannot get you motivated you need to check your pulse, it is probably missing. Billy is a master trainer, kick boxer, and one of the most inspiring trainers you will ever watch.

Just because martial arts are involved does not mean the action has to be fast, screaming, and filled with furious kicks and punches. For a more gentle, empowering, and stress relieving workout check into Scott Coles: Discover Tai Chi. Tai Chi is practiced by large numbers of people in China and throughout the Asian world. The flowing smooth movements strengthen your body, relieve stress, and burn calories.

To get a longer, lean, and more agile body you may want to give Pilates exercise a try. Pilates has become one of the fastest growing exercise phenomenons and one you will love. To get a complete understanding and learn how to do this unique form of exercise grab the DVD by Lara Hudson titled, The Ten Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates.

No matter what type of workout you are interested in there are great DVD’s to help you learn, enjoy, and become proficient at their techniques. The few exercise solutions listed above are just a few examples of the best workout videos you can find to enjoy. You never need to feel alone, bored, or uninspired about your exercise again. Just grab a great exercise video and enjoy your workout.

Basketball Workouts – Champions Are Made In The Off-Season, Are You Ready?

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Sep 012010

It is easy to workout during basketball season. You have coaches directing traffic, yelling, screaming, and making sure you stay motivated. You have trainers who work with you on stretching, strength conditioning, and staying focused. It is in the off-season when they are all gone when you make the difference in becoming a top-notch championship player, or just another guy on the bench.

Your off-season basketball workouts should consist of some very basic items. Let us examine three core areas you can focus on.

The first core area you must take care of everyday is staying in playing condition. This means running. Not jogging down the street, but getting those legs working in sprints just like you do during the season. By working hard on your speed and conditioning during the off-season you will be miles ahead of your teammates and opponents when the season begins. You will be the player streaking down the court for the easy layup.

The second core area is shooting. This is not running around playing a game with your buddies, or playing a game of horse. This is serious work time. Setup shooting spots on the floor you know are critical for your game. Take 50 shots from each spot and never stop shooting until you make 3 in a row to finish the spot. Do not take these shots leisurely, take them in game fashion. Jump high, imagine shooting over a defender, and watch the net rip as the ball goes through.

The last core area is strength conditioning. The off-season is the time to add muscle and power for the season. Schedule two to three workouts per week in a weight room. Work on explosive power and speed, not building mass. Plyometric boxes are an ideal way to work on increasing your jumping ability. Speed box squats, bench presses, and military presses are great for rounding out the power of your body. Consider adding in Olympic weight lifting moves for even greater explosive power from the court.

If you want to improve even further during the off-season recruit a couple basketball playing friends and have them challenge you in defensive drills. Move your feet and try to stay between them and the goal at all times. Practicing your foot speed and footwork is critical to becoming an outstanding player.

The last suggestion, at the end of your sprinting workout grab a basketball and go shoot free throws. You are going to be winded, tired, with your legs will be feeling a little drained. This simulates the feelings you have in the fourth quarter of big games. Practice your free throws trying to make at least five in row and averaging above 70 percent.

By following a simple plan during your off-season you will be the player voted most improved. You will be the player ready to take on the challenges thrown down by your coach. Your coaches will see the changes in your physical speed, power, endurance, and skills, and will reward you with more playing time and big game responsibility.

Baseball Workouts – Prepare For Blazing Speed and Explosive Hitting

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Sep 012010

Baseball is a very unique sport. It centers around long periods of standing quietly waiting, and then the instantaneous need for blazing speed to track down the ball or run the bases. You need to have amazing hand quickness and power to hit the ball deep into the pockets or over the fence. Baseball workouts need to work on building explosive speed and power, not amazing endurance.

While many power hitters in recent times have been accused of using steroids there are even greater numbers who have learned the importance of resistance training in their baseball workouts. Where at one time many coaches hesitated to have their athletes hit the weight room for fear of losing hand speed, today most top coaches agree proper resistance training is crucial to the highest levels of success.

The big difference in the requirements for baseball is the absolute essential of maintaining or improving explosive speed in both your feet and hands. You cannot focus on only becoming a powerful lifter or you are at high risk of losing speed.

You can improve your leg speed and power by applying plyometrics in your workout. One of the most popular forms of plyometrics is the box jumps, or hurdle jumps. Standing flat on both feet you leap either over a box, or you leap up onto the box. Both methods are very effective. A twist which was added in the University of Southern California’s football training program is very beneficial to baseball players. Instead of landing and sticking the landing, land and move. Practice hitting the floor and instantly running sprinting a couple yards one direction or the other. This improves explosive starting, and the ability to react fast.

While lifting heavy weights is the surest way to increase massive power it is not the most effective method of training for a baseball player. All your efforts need to focus on the power and speed combination.

In your upper body you need to focus on the speed and power of your arms, shoulders, and waist rotation. Military presses, barbell curls, tricep extensions, and bench presses are all great exercises. Use weights in the 70 to 80 percent of maximum range and lift explosively. Focus on speed and power not just power. Use great form and control.

For the waist use cross body crunches and plate twists. The cross body crunch is the classic abdominal crunch but bringing the opposite elbow and knee up towards each other. Work on increasing speed over time along with increasing repetitions. The plate twist is simply sitting on the floor, feet in front of you, holding a weight plate and twisting side to side. Both of these exercises focus on rotational strength with is crucial in powerful hitting.

The most important aspect of weight lifting baseball workouts is to not focus on power alone. Focus on applied speed by moving quickly with a full range of motion. Learn to increase power slowly while working to increase speed, too. Soon you will be moving around the field with greater explosive starts, faster sprinting speed, and hitting the ball with power.

Jul 072010

Yoga exercises for beginners can be very fun and exciting, but be careful about watching advanced yoga practitioners before your first class. You may see them in some unusual pose requiring exceptional flexibility and scare yourself away.

The reality of beginning yoga, it is very easy to do for anyone. You just need to select poses you can do with only minor stretching, and start learning to breathe, relax, and meditate into the pose. You will soon feel your muscles and joints learn to relax, your range of motion increase, and more advanced poses will begin to seem possible.

One of the biggest challenges for any beginner in yoga is learning to relax. You enter the class filled with excitement and a little fear, which of course causes your muscles to be a little tense. Learn to breathe slowly and deeply to help you relax allowing your muscle to become more pliable.

A great way to start off is with one of the easiest yoga exercises for beginners, the corpse pose. It is exactly what it sounds like. You are going to lie flat on your back, arms slightly spread to both sides, legs slightly apart. The challenge in this pose is to become totally relaxed while staying completely aware. Still your mind, feel the muscles relax and unwind, allow your body to become completely limp. This pose is often used at the end of classes as a final relaxation, but when you are beginning yoga it a great way to start a class. It helps you to get into a state of relaxation, and proper mental preparation for additional poses.

Another pose you will want to use as a beginner is the bridge pose. This yoga pose is performed by starting on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms extended above your head. Now push down with your feet, and upwards with your buttocks to lift your body into a straight line from the knees to your head. Hold the bridge position for 30 seconds or longer if possible. This yoga pose is great in conditioning your lower back, arms, buttocks, and abdomen.

Another one of the simple yoga exercises for beginners is the seated forward bend. In this pose you start from a seated position on the floor. Bend forward bringing your nose towards your knees. Gently grasp your legs with your hand to give you a little further stretch. Hold the position, focusing on your breathing and relaxing into the position. This pose is great for stretching and toning the lower back and hamstrings on the back of your legs.

This is just a small sample of the yoga exercises for beginners, but as you can see there is nothing to fear. You do not need to jump into the middle of complex poses when you are first starting off. Learn to do the easy poses first, allowing your body and mind time to adjust and relax into yoga. Then when you are prepared you can begin to advance into new and more exciting poses.

Weight Lifting for Kids – Should You Let Your Children Lift Weights?

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Jul 072010

Weight lifting for kids is one of the more controversial areas in fitness. You will find many pediatricians who try to convince parents to keep their children away from weight lifting until they are 13 years old, or older. You can find other pediatricians and sports fitness Doctors who will disagree, and claim it is perfectly fine. What is the truth?

The truth about weight lifting for kids is based upon your definition of weight lifting or training. Children under 13 should not be lifting to attempt to gain muscle mass, or to become massively strong. Younger children are not physically developed to the point where their bodies can withstand the strain of lifting large amounts of weights. Where many adult strength athletes train to failure, handling heavy weights, this would be a recipe for disaster for a young child.

Children can safely work with lighter weights and supervision. The benefits to your children can be great. One of the biggest problems facing children today is obesity, and inactivity. If your child is expressing an interest in lifting weights go ahead and get them started. As the parent, you will need to be present for their workouts, or arrange for them to work with a trainer. You should be the one in control of how much weight they handle. Kids can do great using lighter weights and higher repetitions.

One thing to watch closely with your children as the start lifting weights is their form. They need to be lifting with nearly perfect form to protect their body from injury. You should never allow them to lift to failure. Setup a controlled routine to have them to use weight lifting as a means to improving their health, not as a contest to see how much they can lift.

If you choose to allow your children to lift weights, tie it to other activities. Set a rule they must either participate in other forms of activity or sports if they wish to train with weights. Most researchers agree it is critical children get a variety of activity to help with physical development. By prompting your children to get a wider variety of activity along with their weight lifting you will help them develop a healthier body. They will not develop massive muscles. Your younger children do not have the proper hormones running in their bodies to build larger muscles. They will be able to increase their strength.

If weight lifting for children inherently dangerous? Not at all, if the weight lifting is performed with proper guidance and controls. Weight lifting is a great way to help your child start developing a passion for staying fit, and looking great. As they get a little older and start participating and training for competitive sports they will have an advantage. They will already understand the importance of building strength and working out with a plan. Go ahead and let your children get started lifting and getting fit.

Water Pilates – Just When You Thought You Knew Everything About Pilates

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Jul 072010

Everyone pictures Pilates routines happening on mats, reformer tables, and chairs. They have seen the long stretching movements and positions which create a long, lean, strong body. Then an ingenious Pilates instructor had a bright idea and decided to create Water Pilates by adapting the Pilates world to water.

Water Pilates follows many of the same movements and motions as regular Pilates, but without getting down on a mat. Many people have found the buoyancy of water helps them to be able to relax further, and to work on stretching further with greater control.

Pilates routines in water are often done near the edge of the pool to allow gripping the edge and using it for balance and focus while performing the movements. Water Pilates is very well suited to elderly people starting off in Pilates since it removes much of the strain on the body. Many people recovering from injuries have found Pilates movements in the water to be easier and aids them in regaining core strength before they head back into their regular Pilates classes. Some of these people decide they love the water so much they never return to regular Pilates routines.

Pilates in the water works in much the same way as traditional standing Pilates movements. You will be working to stretch, lengthen, and strengthen your muscles. Your Pilates class will work on building a balanced and aligned body. Focus on proper breathing, and proper body alignment is stressed in all movements. When you are working in the water it is often easier to allow your body to fall out of alignment because you are not working with a solid foundation under your feet. The added flotation allows your body to move a little more fluidly, so your focus on alignment must be maintained.

In Water Pilates you will utilize the water as your primary resistance instead of relying on other Pilates accessories such as springs or resistance bands. The most common comparison people are curious about is how does this Pilates routine compare to a water aerobics class. The answer is very simple, they are completely different. Water aerobics is about moving quickly to bring your heart rate and breath rate up. Water Pilates is about creating balance, core strength, alignment, and range of motion. Both forms of exercise can give their practitioners great benefits, but very different benefits. If you want a strong core, a long lean body, and a feeling of overall health, Pilates is one of the greatest choices in the world. If you need to work on heart efficiency, then water aerobics should be your first choice.

Water Pilates may not be for everyone, but it is an interesting alternative. You can get a great workout for your body, without the gravitational pull. You can play and enjoy the water, and often times do more complex moves due to the added support of the water. There will be less positions and techniques available, but should be enough to keep up your interest. If you find the idea interesting, give a class at try.

Tummy Toning Exercises – Tone Your Stomach Muscles For a Great Tummy

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Jul 072010

Is that really the way you want your stomach to look? Of course not, you want to have a great looking stomach for wearing all of the great outfits for spring and summer. You want to wear tight jeans, and tight tops which show off your great looking tummy. It is time to start hitting the tummy toning exercises to get your stomach ready for action.

If you really want to have a great looking stomach we need to work on the entire abdominal area of your body. By getting the center of your stomach and the side muscles of your tummy all in great shape, strong, and fit, you will have a tummy you are proud to show off.

The number one exercise for building up strength in the abdomen is the crunch. It looks easy, but try telling yourself that after you do several sets of crunches back to back. The crunch is simply done by lying on the floor, rolling your head and shoulders up using the power of your stomach muscles. Hold the up position for a moment or two before dropping back down. The real trick to crunches is to never release the tension at the bottom before starting the next repetition. Expect your abdomen to feel the burn in just a few reps.

When the crunches become a little too easy, start holding a heavy book, a weight plate, or other weights on your chest with your arms folded across your chest.

To start working on the sides of your abdomen we are going to use exactly the same exercise, but you are going to start rotating your shoulders on each crunch. On the first time up twist slightly to the left, on the next rep twist slightly to the right. Your abs are going to complain about this exercise. This exercise is going to help transform your tummy.

Time to have a little more fun in your tummy toning exercises. You are going to pretend to ride a bicycle, except this is a little more challenging. Staying on the floor on your back put your hands behind your head and lift your head and shoulders a little. Now you need to start alternating lifting your knees similar to riding a bike. As you lift one knee bring the opposite elbow towards the rising knee. This exercise works the entire abdominal area and is going to help create a tremendous looking stomach.

These few exercises are enough to make major changes to the look of your stomach if you add one more ingredient. Most times your stomach is covered with a layer of body fat hiding the real power of your stomach. Cut your calories a little bit so you start losing weight slowly. Then when you employ these tummy toning exercises your new stomach fitness is going to show up rapidly, making all of your clothes look great, including the tightest, sexiest clothes you own. If you do not own any sexy clothes, it is just about time to go shopping.

Stomach Exercises For Women – Create A Flat Sexy Stomach

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Jul 062010

Trying to get rid of the excess bulge of your tummy is a challenge faced by many women. By using a few stomach exercises for women you can quickly flatten your abdomen, and create a beautiful and sexy tummy.

To get the best looking stomach possible you need to work on both the middle of your stomach and the oblique muscles on the sides of your abdominal wall. By conditioning and toning all of these muscles you create a sexy, shapely center you can be proud of.

The first abdominal exercise you should try is the bicycle. This exercise is going to target both your abdominal muscles and the obliques. To complete this exercise lay flat on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. Pull your right knee up, lifting the foot off the ground, bringing the knee towards your nose. At the same time raise your head and turn your left elbow towards the rising knee. Keeping your head up, switch legs and rotate your right elbow towards the rising left knee. You switch legs and rotate elbows for approximately 10 reps to each side. Take a short rest of about 1 to 2 minutes and then repeat for another set.

One of the most common stomach exercises for women is the crunch. The crunch is one of the easier exercises to complete, while putting intensive work into the abdominal wall. You should do two varieties of the crunch to target your entire stomach. The first variety is the standard abdominal crunch. Lay on the floor with your knees bent slightly. Place your hands behind your head, or folded on your chest. Raise your head and shoulders using only your stomach muscles for power. If you chose to put your hands behind your head remember not to use them for pulling. The work must be done by your abdominal muscles. Do two sets of ten crunches.

The second variety of crunches requires a slight twist, literally. Position yourself identically, but this time as you use your head and shoulders turn your shoulders slightly to the right. On your next rep turn your shoulders slightly to the left. These small twists will bring your obliques into the action while still working on your abdominal muscles. Do two sets of 10 reps. On both types of crunches if they become too easy just hold a weight plate, or other weighted item across your chest to increase the resistance.

If you thought you were done crunching you were wrong. This time we are going to do a reverse crunch. Your head and shoulders remain flat on the floor with your arms lying on the floor beside your torso. Raise your legs into a 90 degree angle, the knees can be bent. In this positions pull your knees towards your chest while trying to rock your hips upwards with the pull of your abdominal muscles. This crunch will target the lower part of your abdominal muscles.

With only these four stomach exercises for women you can produce a strong, flat and sexy stomach. You will have a stomach ready for the beach, short shirts, and looking great in those tight tops and dresses.

Prenatal Pilates – Can Pilates Improve Your Pregnancy Experience?

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Jul 062010

What muscles is your body going to need during pregnancy? Pregnancy and delivery require strong core muscles. You are supporting more weight on your body, and experiencing new challenges in maintaining good posture, and avoiding a sore back. Prenatal Pilates can help you prepare for the physical challenges ahead.

Think about what carrying a baby in your womb actually does to your body. Your stomach is growing, attempting to make your spine bend in new ways as the pressure and weight of the baby moves your center of gravity forward. Your hips begin to widen, and your leg joints become a little looser in preparation for delivery. With the baby pushing down on your pelvis, your circulation can be reduced to your lower extremities.

What is Pilates designed to do? Pilates is designed to help you strengthen your core, maintain a balanced straight spine, increase flexibility, and improve circulation. Take the list of benefits from this Prenatal Pilates plan and compare it to the negative effects of pregnancy. What becomes quickly apparent is Pilates overcomes almost every facet of the problems created being pregnant.

Pilates is going to give you even bigger benefits when it comes time for labor and delivery. Your core will be strong, your body flexible, and you will have developed great mental control of both your body and your breathing. These factors will help when you are battling through the pain of a contraction, and then needing the energy and power to push to deliver your baby. It is much easier to enjoy your moment when you are working with a strong, fit, and ready body, rather than battling against an unprepared body. Using Pilates to build up your strong core will give you many advantages

If you have already been practicing Pilates before becoming pregnant, just keep up with your normal routine, and modify it slightly as you feel the need. You already have developed a good sense of your body. For women who are wanting to start Pilates and are already pregnant, first check with your Doctor. They are almost certain to give you their approval, but may have some recommended restrictions for you. Your Pilates instructor will help you adjust your routines to be safe, and to give you the best benefits in preparing for the changes in your body. It is very important you discuss your pregnancy with your instructor. They will want to keep a little closer eye on you and your routines during classes. They have probably worked with pregnant women before, and may have some added exercises they would like you to try to give you even more benefits.

Prenatal Pilates is the ideal way to prepare your body and maintain it during pregnancy. All the normal issues created by pregnancy are nearly a perfect match for the benefits you gain from practicing Pilates. No pregnancy and delivery is easy, but with Pilates training it can be much smoother and enjoyable.

Pilates Workout – Getting A Great Body Through The Wide Variety of Pilates

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Jul 062010

Have you ever started in an exercise program only to become terrifically bored in a few weeks? A Pilates workout never needs to be boring. With the wide variety of movements, equipment, and the focus required, Pilates will keep you excited for each upcoming workout. You will be challenged at each workout, since it is a progressive exercise, which allows you to always seek more core strength, better range of motion, and more mental clarity.

If you have been in a gym and watched a Pilates class you may be thinking why wouldn’t it become boring. You watch the classes movements, stretching out, arching, and holding positions. The portion you are missing from outside the class is the mental focus required during these routines. You are focusing on small groups of muscles, proper body alignment, breathing properly, and if you are smart focusing on your thoughts themselves.

When you get your mind completely involved on the techniques of a routine the class becomes interesting. Focusing on breathing deeply using lateral breathing, or deep diaphragmatic breathing takes mental work along with physical work. With the slower controlled movements you get the opportunity to focus your mind upon the goals you are attempting to achieve, or even to drop into a more meditative state similar to Yoga to allow your troubles to wash away.

As you stand at the window watching the class workout you are missing the amount of physical effort these movements actually take. Go home and try to get down on the floor and perform some of those movements you have observed. Many of the students in a class can make the movements look easy. They have trained their bodies and minds to move into their Pilates workout positions with ease and grace. They hold the positions flawlessly, and are developing strong core muscles. When you attempt these movements you will probably discover holding them for even a second or two may feel difficult. Imagine flowing through the routine you have seen in their class.

Now start considering the fact there are hundreds of movements, different pieces of equipment, mat workouts, ball routines, and the use of reformers. With the wide variety of movements, and methods in Pilates it is virtually impossible to get bored, or to be able to quit progressing.

Ask a few of the veterans of a Pilates class how often they get a back ache, headache, or joint pain. They are going to look at you like those are foreign concepts. A Pilates workout not only stimulates your interest and your body, it creates a powerful, flexible, and capable body which avoids injury and pain.

If you have been experiencing boredom with your current workout routine, or keep battling little injuries, it is time to change and try a Pilates workout. You are going to discover how different Pilates really is from other exercise programs. Your body is going to change, and soon you will be another one of the Pilates converts.

Pilates Lessons – Getting Started With Pilates With The Right Lessons

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Jul 062010

Are you considering getting started with Pilates exercise? Choosing the right Pilates lessons can make a big difference on whether you love Pilates, or whether it just becomes another exercise program you drop in just a few weeks.

One of the biggest temptations when choosing to start Pilates is to go buy a book and trying to follow the directions in the book. The book can be great, and very complete, but trying to go through the proper movements, understanding the stretches, and getting the breathing right is difficult when all you have is the written word and static pictures.

The next idea which crosses many people’s minds is to grab a video of Pilates lessons. The video is definitely much better than a book. The video will let you see the motions being performed properly. You will hear the instructors directions and see great examples of breathing techniques. You will get a much better idea of how everything is performed if you see it in motion. While this is much better than a book it leaves one major component out of your learning process. You will not be getting any feedback on your performance of the techniques. You may feel like you are assuming the pose properly, but you cannot really be sure.

The best way to get started is to attend a beginner’s Pilates class. When you are in a class of beginners along with an instructor who is prepared to slowly step through proper form, stretching, and breathing, you will get the very best training possible, plus you are able to ask questions and get answers. When you are surrounded by other students you get the benefit of the questions they ask, and the shared challenges. You get to see how other people make mistakes, and watch as the instructor corrects them. This helps you learn to notice your own errors and make proper adjustments. If you are making mistakes the instructor will notice and come over and give you proper instructions.

You may choose after a few weeks of classes you prefer to exercise at home. This is the perfect time to switch to using a DVD of Pilates lessons. You will have the experience of the instructions from your instructor, have been practicing proper breathing, and now the DVD video lessons will make perfect sense. Instead of becoming frustrated with your lessons you will have greater success, and you will have great fun practicing the techniques you see in the DVD.

Pilates lessons are great fun, but you must start off the right way. You do not want to get stuck not understanding and losing interest. Once you have a firm understanding of the movements and techniques you can choose whether you want to remain in a class, or take your Pilates training home. Even if you started out believing you wanted to exercise at home, you will probably discover you love the classes and having an instructor. You may discover using both a DVD and classes is the perfect combination to take care of your needs.

Pilates Instructor Training – Becoming A Certified Pilates Instructor Can Launch Your Career

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Jul 062010

Do you love participating in Pilates classes? You cannot seem to stop talking about Pilates to your friends, family, and anyone who is willing to listen. You have seen the dramatic changes it has made in your health and your thinking, and want to pass along the magic to other people. Pilates instructor training can help you become an instructor, and give you an opportunity to turn your passion into your career.

In the past Pilates certification could only be done through the original Piliates programs. Today the trademark is no longer in effect so you will see many different organizations offering up their own versions of Pilates instructor training and certification. Which program should you choose? There is no really easy answer to the question. The best training is probably still offered at the Balanced Body University, the original trainers of the Pilates program. They are likely to be your most expensive option, too.

The best way for you to seek your Pilates instructor training may be standing right in front of you. Talk to the instructors and trainers you have worked with and enjoyed the most in your Pilates experience. Ask them where they were trained, and if they are certified. They will be excited to visit with you about the subject they are passionate about, too. While you may think they could be intimidated by you possibly becoming competition, they know the more likely outcome is a greater interest in Pilates throughout the entire community. You are going to help to spread the excitement and passion for Pilates.

There is secondary reason you should talk to your current instructors. They are going to able to give you advice, help you prepare for certification, and tell you how to get started in creating a client base. They have already been down the road your are starting on, and can help you avoid many of the pitfalls. You may even discover their classes are becoming filled to bursting and they will refer clients to you. Keeping in contact with other instructors adds one more benefit. You will be able to trade off classes when one of you needs a vacation.

If you are worried about needing to travel a great distance for training do not let it derail your plans. Even the Balanced Body University takes their training courses on the road, and provides opportunities to become certified in many major cities around the world.

As you are preparing for taking your Pilates instructor training, do not forget to keep going to your current training sessions. You want to keep your body in perfect physical condition, and keep your mind focused on your dreams. Being surrounded by other Pilates enthusiasts will keep your fire going, and soon you will be leading your own group of students. Your adventures in Pilates is just beginning as you become an instructor, you will discover the real joy is found in sharing your passion with the world.

Pilates For Men – Is A Long, Lean, Strong Body Your Goal?

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Jul 062010

Is the first thought going through your head about Piliates, “I thought Pilates was for women.” Before you jump to that conclusion you need to understand just a tidbit of the history of Pilates. The originator is not some woman on television, or the pretty lady on the cover of a magazine. The originator of the Pilates program is Joseph Pilates. Joseph created the program for his own benefit after studying both western and eastern forms of exercise and meditation. He then took his program to injured soldiers in hospitals, using it to help them recuperate from injuries. It is starting to sound more like Pilates for men is the true history of the exercise, and has now been adopted by women due to the great benefits for everyone.

Perhaps the biggest reason men feel intimidated about Pilates is because of the current advertising, and the prevalence of women in Pilates classes. Pilates is designed for the human body, not the female body, and not the male body exclusively. Pilates for men is a powerful way to gain greater control of your body, increase your core strength, get greater flexibility, and many other health benefits

The core strength conditioning in Pilates centers around building a strong abdominal area, increasing the strength of the lower back, and will increase the power of your buttocks, too. To some men this sounds a bit limiting. They are thinking about strong arms, legs, and a muscular chest. When you stop for a moment and take a closer look at your body, how are you going to build stronger arms, legs, and other body parts without a powerful core? Every extremity relies on the central power of the body for support. If your body cannot keep your spine aligned, support your organs, and give you a solid base, the other exercises are going to be limited in benefits.

Pilates helps you to improve your range of motion, which keeps your muscles long, and looking great. Your range of motion is critical when you want to participate in sports, or even for other exercise methods. When your range of motion is diminished every movement becomes less effective.

You are going to learn about the proper ways to breathe to support your body, methods of standing, proper movement, and many other techniques to help you create a balanced body.

What is different in Pilates for men compared to programs for women? You may use a little more tension in certain movements. Your muscles will have a tendency to grow a little more than a woman’s. You may be the center of attention in the class. Pilates was designed originally for men, and will give you excellent physical benefits. If you have ever thought about trying Pilates, you should get started. You will be very happy with the results you are going to see. Improved posture, less muscle and joint aches, and a much stronger core can all be acquired through Pilates training.

Pilates For Beginners – Building A Great Body Starts At The Core

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Jul 062010

When Joseph Pilates created the Pilates exercise program his vision was of building up a strong central core of your body, with long lean muscles. Pilates for beginners is going to be centered around developing your abdomen, lower back, and buttocks. This central region of your body is the center of your strength, stability, and your bodies protection. Here is what your should expect from starting off with a Pilates program.

One suggestion as your embark on your journey into learning Pilates, if at all possible start off in a class with a certified Pilates instructor. You may be tempted to start off at home with a video course, but you will miss out on some of the most important intricacies of the program. A Pilates instructor is going to be meticulous in teaching you about form. They know the exercises are only as effective as the preciseness you perform each movement. If your form is incorrect, you will not focus the energy into the proper muscles and will lose a large percentage of your benefits.

In your first classes plan on spending a lot of time focusing on breathing and working on mat routines. Pilates for beginners almost always stays far away from the more advanced techniques done on the reformer, arcs, and barrels. Usually you will spend most of your time on the mat or using a Pilates exercise ball to focus on building up your core muscles. One thing you will hear your instructor discuss constantly is centering, and talking to you about your alignment. You are going to be focusing on creating a powerful, long core, but it must be completely in alignment. You want you spinal column straight, and your power to be kept centered and aligned for the greatest benefits.

Pilates is not only about your body, but also your mind. This is not getting metaphysical, but working on getting your mind focused on your body, the movements, and the precision of your techniques. You will be reminded constantly to think about your breathing and to breathe in deeply during certain movements, and to exhale completely during the next portion of your movement. This is not just working on clearing your lungs and increasing your oxygen flow, but helps to focus the effort into the proper muscles.

Make sure you do not start thinking of your instructor as a drill sergeant with all of their instructions. They just recognize with precision you get the greatest benefits and want what is best for you. They are there to help you learn and enjoy the experience of learning Pilates and getting the great benefits.

Is it beginning to sound like a Pilates programs is filled with rules and learning? In some ways it is. It is a precise exercise routine, but the benefits of being precise are tremendous. You will build a stronger, leaner, longer body by following the proper Pilates for beginners routines than you can with any other form of exercise. You are going to love the way your body changes, looks, and feels after practicing Pilates.

Pilates During Pregnancy – Prepare Your Body For Delivery and Beyond

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Jul 062010

Many exercise programs become almost impossible while you are pregnant. You probably are not going to want to be doing a Tae Bo class with the high impact, flying arms, and kicking legs surrounding you. You are not going to want to be pounding your body in a high impact aerobics class. Pilates during pregnancy is both safe, and highly beneficial.

Pilates targets creating a strong core, and a greatly balanced body. During delivery and after delivery your body needs a strong core to do the work and for the fastest possible recovery. Pilates exercise is virtually impact free, and the amount of effort and stress can be varied easily depending on the progress of your pregnancy.

If you have not been participating in Pilates already, take time to visit with your obstetrician on your next visit before beginning a Pilates class. While Pilates during pregnancy is very safe, it is a good idea to discuss the fact your are pregnant with your Pilates instructor before starting the class. They may choose to vary your routine and give you a little more attention knowing about your condition. This is especially true if you have not started showing much. Obviously if your pregnancy is very advanced the instructor will know immediately.

When doing Pilates while you are pregnant you must take a little more caution and care with your movements. Make sure you pay very close attention to your own body and what you are feeling. Movements which were easy before may become difficult or nearly impossible during your pregnancy. Do not worry about these minor changes, just adjust your workout and do the movements and stretches you can complete.

The most important thing about exercise or Pilate during pregnancy is to keep it up. Exercise during pregnancy is a great way to ease your delivery and increase the speed of your recovery after your baby is born. You will have more energy for taking care of your baby. Your body will quickly bounce back to your pre-pregnancy size and weight. Almost every Doctor highly recommends continuing exercise during pregnancy, as long as you are cautious.

There is one added challenge of doing Pilates during pregnancy. You will probably need to buy new exercise clothes a couple of times to match your changing sizes. You may have a little difficulty finding exercise clothes you love for the later trimesters of pregnancy, but do not become too concerned. For those few months you can wear over-sized sweats or running clothes. You can find some aerobics outfits which are sized for pregnant women, too. Shopping for a few new outfits will just be part of the fun of continuing your exercise during pregnancy. If you have delivered a baby previously without continuing to exercise, you will be pleasantly surprised with the difference. Your labor will be easier, your recovery between contractions will be faster, and the real magic happens after the delivery. Your body will spring back to full energy with surprising ease.

Pilates Clothes – What Kind Of Clothes To Wear For the Best Pilates Workout

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Jul 062010

Standing in the sporting goods store you see jogging clothes, bicycle shorts, weight lifting attire, and aerobics outfits. No where you look can you find Pilates clothes. Exactly what kind of clothes should you wear, and what should you avoid for your Pilates class?

The first thing you will hear from almost every Piliates instructor is to wear clothes which are comfortable to move in. You choose to buy some nice baggy exercise pants, and a loose fitting shirt to go along with it, and the next workout is a complete disaster. Every stretch, every movement, your baggy clothes get in the way. They should have made it clear to wear clothes which are comfortable to move in, and stay out of the way.

There are two categories of clothes which often work great for your Pilates workout. Aerobics outfits and Yoga outfits both work exceptionally well for Pilates, but not necessarily for every woman. This is where it becomes an issue with your comfort. Some women and men prefer the more relaxed flowing feel of Yoga outfit, while other prefer the snugger fit of most aerobics clothing. The only way you will know for sure is to try one, and see how it feels in your workout.

There are a few things you must avoid in picking clothes. Think about the zippers, snaps, buttons, and ties on the clothes. Are they going to be in positions which will be under your body in your Pilates movements. Pilates clothes which put a lump under your body are not going to feel comfortable and will keep you from keeping your mind focused on your exercise.

The second major item you will want to consider is how the clothes move, and what they reveal in their movement. This may seem to be only a woman’s concern, but gentlemen, pants which do not move properly with your body and stay in place have tendency to expose the dreaded plumber’s crack. This can be embarrassing not only for you, but for everyone in the class. Women, low cut tops should be avoided. They may work great in an aerobics class, but when you stretch out, extending your arms over your head in a arched position, low cut tops have a tendency to allow a little more exposure than you intended. Test your apparel before coming to class.

The best Pilates clothes are going to be closely fitting, but not snug tops and bottoms. You want the clothes to move freely, but to not have excess fabric flopping around. You want to make sure the clothes stay in place during all kinds of stretching an movement. Fabrics with a high amount of natural fibers are often the most comfortable, but a blended material will have a little stretch. The most important part of your Pilates clothes is not the appearance, it is your comfort in participation. Always choose your clothes for comfort and movement, and you will have made the right choice.

Pilates Breathing – Mastering the Two Breathing Techniques Required to Rejuvenate Your Body

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Jul 062010

Pilates breathing is not just a normal simple breath, or is it just a single technique. Breathing in Pilates is an integral part of the exercise, and requires a minimum of two kinds of breathing to facilitate the different exercise forms.

The first breathing technique you need to learn in Pilates is the diaphragmatic breathing. This breathing starts deep in your belly, right under the bottom of the ribs where your diaphragm muscles sits. For proper diaphragmatic breathing you will start the breath from the bottom, feeling your diaphragm pulling down, expanding your lungs. Allow your lungs to start filling with air from the top. You can then feel as your lungs inflate all the way to the bottom. Make sure to breathe very deeply.

The deep breath of this form of Pilates breathing helps fully oxygenate the blood, and expels waste out of your body. Your body is constantly producing waste gases which are carried from your body’s cells by the blood. When the blood reaches the lungs it purges the waste products, which are then expelled by the lungs. If you are not breathing deeply, and exhaling completely, you do not expel all of the poisonous gases from your body. The same type of deep breathing has been shown to help with blood pressure, lowering stress, and aiding in reaching a deep meditative state.

The second type of Pilates breathing is called lateral breathing. Lateral breathing is used during your abdominal exercises, and other motions which require your abdominal muscles to be drawn in tightly, and held for support of the spine. As you draw in your lateral breath, instead of focusing on the downward filling of your lungs, work on expanding your rib cage outwards to the sides, and forward and back. Your ribcage is expanding in all four directions to allow for the filling of your lungs, while not being pulled deeply into the belly.

Many people experience an uncomfortable feeling in their lower lungs when they first start working with these two forms of breathing. This is not anything to be worried about, it is simply the fact you have not been inflating the lower lobes of your lungs on a regular basis. By learning to use your entire lung capacity you improve your bodies ability to utilize oxygen and to clear itself of the waste it produces. Simply adopting the Pilates breathing methods can have you feeling more energetic and more relaxed. When combined with the exercise routines the results can be quite wonderful.

There is one more advantage to the Pilates breathing in connection with the exercise. It helps to create a strong foundation and timing for your routines. You move with your breathing. You inhale deeply during one motion of your exercise, and then exhale completely during the return motion. Combining your breathing with the exercise helps you to get deeper movement into the abdomen and core of your body, enhancing the exercises results. Take time to learn proper breathing, you will love the results.

Pilates at Home – You Can Get All The Great Benefits Of Pilates At Home

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Jul 062010

If you have been reading about all the great benefits of Pilates, you can gain all of those benefits practicing Pilates at home. Before you get started on doing Pilates in your home, you may want to consider a few options.

One of the biggest challenges to doing Pilates properly is learning perfect form and perfect breathing. This is very difficult to do with just a DVD video. For the best results from your Pilates workout it is highly recommended you attend a couple of sessions with a certified Pilates instructor. Go ahead and explain to them you plan to workout at home, but want to get some instruction first. They will be happy to get you started off on the right foot.

You may have been reading about Pilates exercises online or in some magazines, before you start doing Pilates at home it would be a really good idea to buy a DVD showing techniques, and which takes you through a normal exercise routine. The reason a video is superior is because you can see the action in motion. You can hear the instructor’s directions, and you get cues to how long to hold a position. This will help you create a routine you enjoy, and can stick with, instead of struggling to understand the pictures in a magazine. The voice of an instructor can be very motivational. Many times the DVD includes music to help you get into the proper mindset, too.

What equipment will you need to have at home? For most Pilates exercises you need comfortable clothing, or as Joseph Pilates used to say, minimal clothing. You want your body to be able to move easily without restrictions. The only other equipment required is plenty of floor room. You may choose to buy a Pilates exercise mat to give you a little added comfort.

Equipment for doing Pilates at home has started popping up all over the place. You can get lower cost reformers and many other pieces of Pilates equipment. If you are just starting out, stick with just a good mat, and maybe add an exercise ball. This combination will allow you to do a wide variety of exercises. Once you have learned the basics, started improving your core strength and flexibility, then you may want to consider added equipment. The higher end equipment is never required, it can just enhance your workout if you choose.

One thing which can really enhance your Pilates at home workouts is finding an exercise partner. Whether it is someone in your family, or a friend, you will enjoy the experience much more if you can share the efforts. Being able to talk about your body’s changes, share a good laugh when you do something wrong, and cheer each other on all adds to the fun. Just ask a few of your friends, you will probably discover many of them have been considering Pilates, too.

Lower Blood Pressure Fast – Do You Know How To Get Your Blood Pressure Under Control Quickly?

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Jun 212010

When you have high blood pressure and are feeling worried, the one thing you want to know is how to lower blood pressure fast and permanently. The great news, for most people this is very possible by giving your body the attention it needs.

Before we go into any specific advice, you need to make sure you are discussing any of your plans with your Doctor. Dropping off of medication, changing diets, starting exercise programs and all kinds of new physical stresses can increase your blood pressure temporarily, and your Doctor needs to be aware of your plans so you can have the best possible advice.

Many cases of blood pressure are caused by two of the most vile evils in our society, overeating and lack of exercise. The only way you are going to lower blood pressure fast is to start correcting this pair of dual problems. It is not just any kind of food selections or exercise choices which are going to work, you must choose ones designed to lower your blood pressure and increase your cardiovascular health.

For the exercise portion of your life, you need to have good aerobic exercise. Depending on the level of your health this could be a quick walk for 30 to 45 minutes each day, a 30 minute jog, or it could be a water aerobics class. The main ingredient in your aerobics exercise is it must increase your heart rate and your breathing rate.

You do not want to exercise too hard, to the point of not being able to talk. For someone who has not exercised in a long time, starting off with walking is the ideal choice. Do not do stop and go walking, but set aside a time to do 30 to 45 minutes of sustained walking daily. Strive to go a little further each day, even if that mean only one more step, while maintaining the same amount of time. The striving to improve will increase your health quickly, and start to lower blood pressure fast.

On the subject of eating. Your Doctor has probably preached to you about eliminating or reducing the three evil ingredients. You must bring your salt intake as close to zero as possible. This is going to be one of the most important components to reduce your blood pressure.

Secondly, you need to reduce the amount of processed sugars and fat in your diet. Make sure this reduction is not replaced by overeating of other foods. Your goal is to reduce your body fat into a safe range. Even if you do not feel you are overly fat, an extra 10 to 20 pounds of body fat is making your heart work harder, increasing your blood pressure. Reduce the salt, sugars, and fat, and you will see both your weight and your blood pressure fall.

When you want to lower blood pressure fast you cannot trust on only exercise or only diet. You must grab your body and give it what it really craves, a healthy diet and exercise combination. When you give your body these two ingredients it will respond giving you a healthier body and lower blood pressure.

Jun 212010

If you are not currently including lower back strengthening exercises in your exercise routine, you are missing out on one of the most critical parts of protecting your health. Your lower back is critical in giving you the base for all your other activities, too.

Think about that for just a moment. Every activity you do is centered around the middle of your body, it is the base, balance, and control center for virtually every movement you make. If your lower back is not strong and flexible you restrict the types of activities you can do, and risk potential injury.

What types of exercises should you be doing for your lower back? The best exercises are going to both increase your lower back strength and increase your range of motion. Here are a few key exercises you should consider.

The first one you should include in your workout is the barbell dead lift. If you do not have a barbell, you can use dumbbells, bags filled with cans, or even resistance bands. Bend deeply at the knees and bend slightly at the lower back to grasp the bar, or weights. Keep your back straight during the exercise. Stand up straightening your legs and your back. Make sure to pull up strongly with your lower back. This is one of the best exercises to increase strength in your lower back.

The stiff leg good morning is another of the great lower back strengthening exercises to both increase range of motion and to increase lower back strength. The stiff leg good morning is completed using either resistance bands or weights. You can use just a weight plate if you like. Hold the weight against your chest. Keep the back completely straight, then bend at the waist to approximately 90 degrees, or as far as you can comfortably go. Then power back up to the standing position. You will feel the exercise in your lower back, buttocks, and in your hamstrings. All of these muscles are involved in giving you a strong center for support and power.

If you want to start with something a little simpler, not requiring weights try the lying superman. Lay on your stomach with your legs straight out, and your arms stretched straight over your head. Now arch your back lifting your arms. This exercise will focus intensely on your lower back, and help to increase strength and range of motion.

There are many other exercises which can strengthen your back and increase flexibility, but these few exercises can get you started on creating a much stronger back. When you have a strong and flexible back all of your other activities become easier and more enjoyable. You will no longer worry about lifting items, picking up the children, and doing other intensive exercise. You know your back is strong and ready for the activity. Lower back strengthening exercises are one of the most important components of your workout program, do not ignore them.