Working Out In The Water

Since getting my group exercise certification I have had the opportunity to start teaching water aquatic classes. I know some people write off water aquatic (water aerobics) classes as something that just old people do. But I’m here to say there are benefits to taking these classes no matter your age, fitness level or limitations. These classes are offered in variety of formats including step, zumba, kickboxing, circuit and yoga.

BENEFITS

Low Impact

Being in the water makes you feel about 90% lighter. So walking, running, jumping, etc. feels completely different than it does on land. This is a big reason why water aerobics are ideal for people who have issues with their joints, arthritis, back problems, and any knee, leg or foot injuries. Also, it’s safe enough for pregnant woman to do. Obese individuals also are able to benefit from the low impact.

No Pressure

Some people tend to like water aerobics better than other group classes that involve a lot of choreography because they don’t have to worry about messing up. If you mess up no one will see you because majority of the movements are under water. Also, people don’t have to worry about working out in a room filled with mirrors or windowed studio. It really helps some people who aren’t normally comfortable working out in front of others feel comfortable.

It Burns Calories!

In most water aerobic you will burn around 400-500 calories. The amount of calories you can burn depends on your size, the intensity of your workout, and also the depth of the water.

Strength Training

In water aerobics classes you can use noodles, water weights, and kickboards to add resistance in the water. For the classes I teach I incorporate the noodles and water weights to provide a total body workout.

Classes can be taken in shallow or deep water. The workouts will be easier in the shallow because there is less resistance. Deep water classes are more beneficial if you want more resistance. Also, don’t worry about if you can swim or not. You are able to wear weight belts or use noodles if you choose to take classes in the deep end or just have a fear of water.

Go to your local gym and try a water aerobics class. It’s a great way to switch up your workouts. Let me know how you like it!

Yours In Fitness,

Lauren “LC” Chatman

Plyometric Challenge (Week 4)

We are now entering the final week of our plyometric challenge. I will be introducing the last two new exercises today. Remember, our goal is to get at least 1000 plyometric exercises done during the month of June. You can do all upper body exercises, all lower body exercises, or do a combination of both.

MEDICINE BALL SLAMS

  1. Hold the medicine ball with your palms facing each other and lift the ball above your head with arms extended.
  2. Lean forward with the medicine ball with your arms straight and then slam the ball down.
  3. Make sure to keep your arms stretched out to work your core.
  4. Squat down to pick up the ball and then repeat until desired reps.
  5. Repeat

SQUAT JUMPS

  1. Extend your hands in front of your body
  2. Push through your calves and jump straight up while keeping your upper arms close to your sides.
  3. In a continuous motion keep making small jumps repeatedly until desired reps.
  4. Repeat

I wish everyone the best and want to see everyone cross the 1000 mark by Saturday. Also, although it has been a while since we’ve done a Photo Friday there are still photos. Check back on Friday to see my latest ones.

Yours In Fitness,

Lauren “LC” Chatman

Plyometric Challenge (Week 3)

Welcome to another great week of fitness! I hope you all are ready for the third week of our Plyometric Challenge. I will be introducing a two new exercises today. Our goal is to get at least 1000 plyometrics in during the month of June. Remember, these types of workouts give you a total cardio workout that helps you keep your heart rate up and burn plenty of calories. Adding plyometric exercises to your workout will help you build your strength and power. You can do all upper body exercises, all lower body exercises, or do a combination of both.  Next week I’m going to introduce one more upper body and lower body plyometric exercise for everyone to try.

SQUAT CABLE ROW

  1. Start by holding either a handle or rope-handle attached to a low-pulley cable.
  2. Squat until your hips and knees form 90-degree angles.
  3. Make sure all your body weight is back over your heels and push through the heels to stand back up.
  4. Pause for a second and then pull the cable toward with your elbows tight to your sides.
  5. Squat back down and let your arms go straight as you drop down.
  6. Repeat until desired reps.

EXERCISE BALL HIP LIFT

  1. Lie facing up on a mat with your arms out at your sides.
  2. Have your knees bent at 90 degrees with an exercise ball under your feet.
  3. Dig your heels into the ball and lift your hips as high as possible.
  4. Pause for a moment then lower your hips just before your glutes touch the floor and repeat.

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Remember on every Tuesday we will all check in and let each other know how many plyometric exercises we have done so far. Look forward to this week on an article about benefits of working out in water plus Photo Friday.

Yours In Fitness,

Lauren “LC” Chatman

Plyometric Challenge (Week 2)

Did you miss a little while I was gone? I’m excited to tell you that I went on a visit to LSU this past Friday and it was an amazing! I know for sure LSU is definitely the school for me. Words can’t express how happy I am to be able to go to my favorite school ever. I bleed purple and gold. I’m looking forward to grad school and can’t wait to be a Tiger!

With that being said, we are still in the midst of our 1000 Plyometric Exercise Challenge. How’s it going for everyone? Our goal is to do at least 1000 plyometric exercises during the month of June. You can do all upper body exercises, all lower body exercises, or do a combination of both. Each week I’m going to introduce a few upper body plyometric exercises and lower body plyometric exercises for you all to try.  Remember, these types of workouts give you a total cardio challenge that helps you keep your heart rate up and burn plenty of calories. Adding plyometric exercises to your workout will also help you build your strength and power.

MACHINE ASSISTED PULL-UP

  1. Using the overhand grip on a pull-up machine extend your arms fully and make sure your shoulders are relaxed so you can stretch your lats (the muscles on your sides just under your armpits).
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while arching your back and focusing on your lats.
  3. Pull your body up, aiming your chest toward the bar.
  4. Pull yourself up until your chin is level with, or slightly above, the bar.
  5. Hold that position before lower your body under control back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat

BOX JUMPS

  1. Stand in front of a bench or box
  2. Squat down with arms at your sides.
  3. Straighten your legs and explode up onto the top of the bench or box.
  4. Make sure you land softly and evenly on both feet
  5. Step back down and repeat

SINGLE LEG BENCH SQUAT

  1. Stand 2 or 3 feet in front of the bench, plyometric box, couch or chair with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward.
  2. Extend your left leg back placing the top of your foot on the object while keeping your right foot planted on the floor.
  3. While keeping your back straight squat down until your left leg is completely parallel to the floor.
  4. Make sure to press through your heel while shifting your hips forward and squeezing your glutes to return to standing position.
  5. Repeat.
  6. Switch legs and follow steps 1-4.

It’s very important that you keep good form while performing these exercises especially since were performing them at a faster tempo.  You want to perform 4 sets of each exercise in a circuit. The first set you will perform 15 reps, 12 reps on the 2nd set, 10 on the 3rd set, and 8 on the last set.

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Good luck everyone on starting the new challenge.  Remember, on every Tuesday we will all check in and let each other know how many plyometric exercises we have done so far. Plus we will still be looking for photos. Look forward to an article about the benefits of working out in water plus Photo Friday.

Yours In Fitness,

Lauren “LC” Chatman

Photo Friday: Definition

Yes I’m fully aware it’s not Friday but better late than never right? Right! If it makes everyone feel better we can call them “retro” because everything described as retro is cool. I’ve scientifically proved this. Nonetheless, here are a few pics I took recently. Let me know what you think.

Workouts For The Road (Resistance Bands)

Summertime is here so for many people that means the next few months will be filled with travel and vacation. I know when I go out of town I still like to workout and so do many others. Don’t fret! There’s a way we can work out while on the road without loading your bags with weights (which would definitely put you over the 50 lb. limit). The way we can do this is by doing workouts with resistance bands. The good thing about the resistance bands is they are light and easy to pack. You can do a total body workout with the bands in the comfort of your room.

OVERHEAD PRESS

  1. Step on the resistance band with legs shoulder-width apart. Place both of your hands in the handles.
  2. Begin with both arms at a 90 degree angle. Make sure to have your wrists in and abs engaged.
  3. Contract the shoulders to straighten arms up and then lower back down.
  4. Repeat

LATERAL RAISE

  1. Step on the band and have it positioned under the middle of your food. Place both of your hands in the handles.
  2. Begin with both arms down at your side.
  3. Pull your arms straight out to your side lifting them straight up, but not past your shoulders, and then lowering them back down.
  4. Repeat

 

 

SEATED ROW

  1. Starting position will be on the floor with your feet out in front of you like you see in the picture.
  2. Wrap the band around your feet and try to sit up as straight as you can with your arms extended and hands in handles.
  3. Bend at the elbows and bring your arms into the body squeezing your shoulder blades.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat

 

 

BICEP CURLS

  1. Step on the band and position it under the middle of your foot. Place both of your hands in the handles.
  2. Have both arms down to your side with your palms facing upward.
  3. Begin with each arm up in a flex position until your hands reach your shoulders level.
  4. Lower your arms back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat

 

 

 

SQUATS

  1. Place the band underneath the center of your feet. You want to make sure your heels are supporting the majority of your body weight.
  2. Lower your body into proper squat position and grab the handles.
  3. Position the handles just above your shoulders and then begin to raise your body by pushing from your heels.
  4. Just before you reach full extension lower yourself back to the starting position. Squat down as far down as you feel comfortable going.
  5. Repeat

 

 

 

LUNGES

  1. Start with feet hip-width apart. Take the left foot back approximately 2 feet behind you standing on the ball of your foot.
  2. Place the band underneath your right foot and put your hands in handles.
  3. You should be positioned in a staggered stance with your back and neck straight in a neutral position.
  4. Lower body by bending at the right hip and knee until thigh is parallel to the floor.
  5. Return to starting position.
  6. Alternate and Repeat

 

 

 

RESISTANCE BAND INFO

You can purchase resistance bands at any athletic sporting goods store. Also, it’s good to know the band have specific colors to represent the resistance of the band. The easiest band color is yellow, then green, red, blue and then black.

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Look forward to nutrition article about great brain foods and Photo Friday. Remember to get your plyometric workouts in daily!!

Yours In Fitness,

Lauren “LC” Chatman

Plyometric Workout Challenge (Week 1)

June is here and you know what that means? It’s time for a new monthly challenge! I enjoyed the May Push-Up Challenge and I am very proud of everyone who participated. I want to give a special shout out to Tina who said she started out only being able to do 7 push-ups and finished up doing 75+. That’s fantastic and we all are so proud of you!

As I previously stated June is Fan/Reader Choice Month. I’m happy to announce that the new challenge is the Plyometric Workout Challenge (Thanks to Mackenzie for the suggestion)!

What are plyometric workouts you ask? They are quick and powerful movements that train the muscles to store energy for explosive training. These types of activities give you a total cardio workout that helps you keep your heart rate up and burn plenty of calories. Adding plyometric exercises to your workout will help you build your strength and power. Our goal is to do at least 1000 plyometric exercises in the month of June. You can do all upper body exercises, all lower body exercises, or do a combination of both. Each week I’m going to introduce two upper body plyometric exercises and two lower body plyometric exercises for you all to try. Continue reading