How exercise balls can change the way you workout

Incorporating an Exercise Ball Into Your Routine Is Life-Changing

Start using an exercise ball — STAT. Here’s why.

Are you looking to spice up your workout routine and improve your health? Exercise balls are a great place to start. They’re in practically every gym, but working out with an exercise ball is one of the best inexpensive, yet effective alternatives that you can take advantage of right at home.

In 1963, Italian plastics manufacturer, Aquilino Cosani, invented the exercise (“Pezzi”) ball — they’ve drastically increased in popularity over the years. From physical therapy in clinical settings to athletic training in fitness facilities, exercise balls are used in a variety of different ways. They’re used for prenatal support and yoga sessions, and it’s even become popular to use stability balls instead of traditional office chairs.

Read on to check out the benefits of using an exercise ball. Plus, get ready to master our step-by-step instructions for top stability ball exercises!

Benefits of Using an Exercise Ball

Exercise balls are popular and trendy among fitness enthusiasts. Here’s why:

Engages more muscles. When pushing off of an exercise ball, instead of a flat surface, more muscles are used to keep the body balanced.

Decreases back pain. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that the use of a stability ball could improve posture and might benefit individuals who sit often or are prone to back pain.1

Strengthens the core. The muscles in the core are used to hold your body in an upright position when you simply sit on your exercise ball. Over time, your core muscles will become much stronger. Plus, you can use your stability ball to intensify exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen abdominal muscles.

Increases Circulation. While using your exercise ball, all of the muscles in your body will be working to help keep you stable — this increases blood flow.

Top Stability Ball Exercises

An exercise ball can be used in a variety of ways. Here is a full body stability ball workout routine that can be performed with or without weights:

Exercise Ball Chest Exercises

Stability Ball Pushups

  • Start with either hands on the ball and feet on the floor or with your feet on the ball and your hands on the floor
  • Push yourself up by extending your arms and then slowly lower yourself
  • Inhale while lowering your body and exhale while pushing your body up
  • Perform two sets of 10-20 reps

Stability Ball Back Exercises

Stability Ball Back Extension

  • Lie face down on your stability ball with your hands behind your head. The ball should be under the center of your mid-section
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line. Repeat
  • Perform two sets 10-15 reps

Stability Ball Reverse Hyperextension

  • Lie face down on the exercise ball with your legs down and extended
  • Keep your legs extended and slowly raise both legs as you exhale
  • Lower your legs slowly as you inhale
  • Perform two sets of 10-15 reps

Exercise Ball Shoulder Exercises

Use your DynaPro resistance bands with these workouts!

Rear Deltoid Raise

  • Lie face down on your exercise ball with your back and legs extended
  • Keep your arms bent at the elbow with your fist pointing towards the ground
  • Rotate your arms upward until your forearms are parallel to the floor
  • Inhale as you bring your arms up and exhale when lowering them
  • Perform two sets 10-15 reps

Side Deltoid Raise

  • Place your left side on the exercise ball
  • Use your left arm to hold onto the ball for stability as you extended your legs outward
  • Extend your right arm upward and exhale
  • Slowly lower your arm toward the ground and inhale. Repeat
  • Perform two sets of 10-15 reps

Stability Ball Core Exercises

Stability Ball V-Pass

Stability ball v-pass exercise for a strong core

  • Lie face up on the floor with your arms extended and hold your exercise ball with both hands
  • Extend your legs in the air, place the ball between your feet, and then lower your legs toward the ground
  • Raise your legs and grab the ball with your arms extended. Then lower the ball with your arms. Repeat
  • Perform 15-30 reps

Stability Ball Knee Tuck

Stability ball knee tuck workout

  • Start in the pushup position with your legs resting on stability ball
  • Inhale, tighten your abs, and bring your knees closer to your chest by pulling your legs forward
  • Exhale and hold for two seconds
  • Extend legs to their original position. Repeat
  • Perform 10-20 reps

Stability Ball Leg Exercises

Stability Ball Wall Squats

  • Place the ball between the wall and your lower back
  • Place your feet shoulder width apart
  • Inhale and slowly lower your body toward the floor in a squat position as you continuously push back into the ball. Repeat
  • Perform two sets of 10-15 reps

Lying Hamstring Curl

Lying hamstring curl on exercise ball

  • Lay flat on your back and place your exercise ball under your feet
  • Dig heels into the ball and extend arms into floor for support
  • Inhale and use your feet to roll the ball towards your body slowly and keep your hips as still as possible
  • Exhale and slowly extend legs back to the straight position. Repeat
  • Perform two sets of 10-15 reps

 

There are so many different ways to incorporate an exercise ball in your lifestyle. Using these techniques will help strengthen your back and core and stabilize your muscles. Plus, exercise balls are easy to store, portable, and affordable. To maintain your exercise ball, just wipe it clean with soap and water and keep an air pump on hand!

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Essential resistance bands exercises for improved mobility

Workout Plan: Best Resistance Band Training Practices to Build Muscle

Resistance bands are small, portable pieces of equipment that can be used to strengthen and tone the entire body. One of the best things about resistance band training is the exercise bands are durable and compact, allowing them to be used at home, work or on vacation!

There are so many benefits of using resistance bands, but one that deserves special attention is their ability to increase mobility and strengthen stabilizer muscles.

Stabilizer muscles play a vital role in overall health. These are the smaller muscles that work in unison to provide support for the body, help maintain balance, and prevent excess movement. Stabilizer muscles surround the larger muscles and tendons, allowing them work more efficiently. In many exercise programs, stabilizers are often neglected, but resistance bands can be used to target and help strengthen these key muscles. Weak stabilizer muscles can lead to muscular imbalances, which can decrease a person’s mobility and increase their risk of injury.

Check out the symptoms of common muscle imbalances:

Poor Posture. Poor posture is often the direct result of uneven body mass and muscle imbalances. The most common signs of poor posture are rounded shoulders and a head tilted forward.

Tight Calves. Sitting over time can cause tight calves, especially for women who sit with high heels planted on the ground. A big culprit of this uncomfortable condition is constant sitting with feet in a relaxed forward position. Symptoms include a sensation of gradual tightening in the claves.

Glutes Imbalance. A common gluteal imbalance can be the result of injury or inactivity. There may be no explanation for it at all! Muscle imbalances in the glutes (and hips) can be the cause of issues like sciatica, a tight piriformis, or tight abductors.

Hamstring Issues. Sitting for extended periods of time can create tight hip flexors, which can cause the pelvis to tilt downward. As a result, the glutes can become weak, increasing the risk of hamstring injuries.

Many people are likely unaware that their health issues are caused by muscle imbalances. That's why it's so important to use the best resistance bands to strengthen stabilizer muscles and help eliminate these imbalances.

Here’s how to use resistance bands:

Resistance bands are available for all fitness levels. It’s important to choose the correct resistance band for your level of fitness and desired goals. Here’s a chart highlighting the different resistance bands:

Level Resistance Band Color Resistance Level (lbs.) Fitness Level
Extra Light Yellow 5-10 Rehab
Light Green 15-20 Beginners
Medium Red 20-15 Intermediate
Heavy Blue 25-30 Experienced
Extra Heavy Black 35-50 Advanced

 

Save upto 52% on high quality resistance bands

Check out these tips for stabilizing muscles with resistance band exercises:

  • Choose a light resistance band. Good form is more important than using a heavier weight or resistance
  • Keep movements slow and controlled. Slow movements will help to activate the stabilizer muscles and increase mobility
  • Do not overextend. Your range of motion may be limited due to decreased mobility. Do not attempt to fully extend if it’s uncomfortable
  • Focus on your reps or time. These exercises can be performed by doing specific repetitions (10-20) or for a specified period of time (60 seconds)

Here are the top exercises for correcting muscle imbalances and increasing mobility per body part:

Shoulders and Upper Back

These workout band exercises are designed to increase mobility in the shoulders and back. They can also improve strength in the rotator cuff and the surrounding stabilizer muscles.

1. Hand External Rotation

  • Attach one end of the resistance band to a stationary object
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Place a towel between your elbow and right side
  • Hold the resistance band with your right hand as your arm crosses your body
  • Keeping your elbow tucked to your side, slowly pivot your arm to the right
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat!
  • Perform the identical movement on the left side, holding the handle in your left hand

Notes: Your range of motion may be limited. Do not attempt to push past a comfortable point or if there is pain.

2. Lawnmower Pull

  • Hold one end of the exercise band in your right hand, while you step on the other end with your left foot
  • Take one step back and place your left hand on your left knee and extend your right hand (holding the resistance band) towards the floor
  • Exhale and pull the resistance band towards the right side of your body
  • Inhale and and extend towards the floor
  • Repeat!
  • Perform the identical movement on the left side, holding the handle in your left hand

Notes: Make sure you keep your back straight and pull your arm close to your body. Keep movement slow and controlled to activate the stabilizer muscles.

3. Resistance Band Pull-Aparts
Resistance band pull-apart exercise technique

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Extend your arms and hold the resistance band in front of you
  • Exhale and extend your arms outwards
  • Inhale and return to the starting position
  • Repeat!

Notes: Do not bend arms. Use your shoulders only to move the resistance bands. Keep movement slow and controlled at all times.

Core and Lower Back

A strong core and lower back go hand-in-hand, with many lower back exercises activating the core. These exercises are designed to strengthen the stabilizer muscles that are neglected in other commonly performed exercises.

1. Resisted Bridge

  • Lie your back with your knees bent and feet shoulder width apart
  • Place the resistance band across your hips
  • Hold the ends of your workout band in both hands
  • Exhale and raise your hips off the ground towards ceiling
  • Inhale and lower your hips back down towards the ground
  • Repeat!

Notes: Keep shoulders planted on the ground and focus on lifting and lowering your hips evenly throughout exercise.

2. Single Leg Lateral Raises

  • Place the resistance band under your feet
  • Hold the resistance band handles at your sides
  • Raise your left leg slightly behind you
  • Exhale and slowly raise your arms to shoulder level
  • Inhale and lower your leg and arms
  • Repeat!
  • Perform the same movement standing on your left leg

Notes:Standing on one leg forces the stabilizer muscles to maintain balance and simultaneously helps to strengthen the core. Find a point of concentration to look at as you perform the movement.

3. Bird Dog Motion

  • Begin on all fours
  • Hold one end of the resistance band in your right hand
  • Affix other end of the exercise band to your left foot
  • Exhale and raise your right hand and left foot simultaneously
  • Inhale as you lower your hand and foot
  • Repeat!
  • Perform the movement holding the resistance band in your left hand and affixed to your right foot

Notes: This movement can be performed as either reps, or held for 30-60 seconds at a time.

Hips, Glutes, and Legs

Weak hip and glutes can cause a variety of problems. Here are resistance band exercises designed to strengthen these often neglected stabilizer muscles.

1. Standing Lateral Leg Raise

  • Stand on the resistance band
  • Hold the handles in front of you
  • Exhale and extend your left leg away from your body
  • Inhale and lower your leg back to the starting position
  • Repeat!
  • Perform the same movement with your right leg

Notes: Keep legs straight throughout entire exercise and extend leg to a comfortable distance without strain.

2. Hip Flexion Exercise

  • Affix one end of the resistance band to a stable object close to ground
  • Wrap the other end around your left ankle
  • Begin with your left foot slightly behind right foot
  • With hands on your hips for balance, exhale and slowly bring left foot forward as if you're taking a step
  • Exhale, and return to the starting position
  • Repeat!
  • Perform identical movement with the band wrapped around your right ankle

Notes: To maintain balance, keep both hands on hips, look straight ahead and perform movement slowly.

Resistance bands are an excellent way to target stabilizer muscles that have been weakened from lack of use or physical strain. By targeting these muscles, you can reap so many benefits, including better posture, increased core strength, and a decreased risk of injury.


Must-try core strength exercises with DynaPro Direct fitness ball

The Top Core Exercises on the Exercise Ball

Having a strong core is essential to health and fitness, and an exercise ball is a great way to strengthen these important muscles. While many people think the purpose of doing core exercises is to get a six pack, nothing could be further from the truth.

What is the Core?

The core is comprised of the abs, glutes, hips, lower back and their surrounding muscles. All movement begins in the core, and each muscle group works together when performing various movements. The following activities and many others would be difficult if the core is weak or compromised:

  • Getting in and out of bed
  • Standing up
  • Picking up a bag of groceries
  • Walking up a flight of stairs
  • Running
  • Throwing a football
  • Riding a bike

In other words, practically every movement involves the core. If one part of the core is weak or injured (i.e. the lower back), a person’s ability to perform even basic tasks may be severely compromised. If other core muscles are required to work harder to compensate for the injured area, their risk of injury is greatly increased as well.

Surprising Health Benefits of a Strong Core

Having a strong core is more than having six pack. In addition to the previous examples, there are many benefits of having a strong core:

1. Decreased risk of back pain and injuries. In many cases, lower back pain may be the result of having a weak core. According to recent statistics from the Global Burden of Disease1

  • Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide
  • Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office
  • More than 50% of all working Americans have back pain annually
  • Americans spend $50 billion each year on back pain medications

2. Improved posture. A strong core helps to keep the muscles aligned, which helps prevent slouching. As a result, a person may be able to or stand for longer periods of time without experiencing pain or discomfort. Bad posture can have negative effects on health as well:

  • A study conducted at San Francisco State University found that students who slouched while walking had increased feelings of depression compared to those who skipped down a hall2
  • Poor posture constricts the internal organs, and has been linked to constipation, acid reflux and other digestive issues
  • A study at the University of Queensland in Brisbane found that for those 25 and older, every hour they spent slouched in front of the television decreased their lifespan by 22 minutes3
  • A study conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester and Loughborough claims that sitting for long periods of time increases a person’s risk of diabetes, heart disease and death by 112%, 147% and 90% respectively4

Having a strong core is essential to good health, and using an exercise ball is an excellent way to make that a reality.

Choosing the Correct Exercise Ball

Exercise balls go by many names (stability ball, yoga ball, etc.) and come in different sizes, so it is important to use a ball that is appropriate for your height:

Height Ball Size
4'11" to 5'4" 55 cm
5'4" to 5'11" 65 cm
5'11" to 6'7" 75cm

 

Shop high quality exercise balls to perform full-body workouts

Exercise Ball Core Exercises

When performing exercises on a stability ball, the entire core and stabilizer muscles are used to maintain balance. The following exercises are excellent for strengthening this important muscle group

Hips and Lower Back

Stability ball bridge exercise for a strong coreThese core exercises place more emphasis on the hips and lower back:

1. Ball Bridge

  • Lay on back, press heels into exercise ball
  • Exhale and slowly lift hips off ground towards ceiling
  • Pause and slowly lower to starting position

Note: Keep your shoulders planted on ground and heels on ball for stability.
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Hip raises with an exercise ball2. Hip Raises

  • Clasp your hands behind your head
  • Rest your shoulder blades squarely on the exercise ball
  • Exhale and raise your hips up towards the ceiling
  • Inhale and slowly lower to starting position
  • Repeat

Note: Hips raises can be performed with both feet planted or one foot raised as shown for increased difficulty.

3. Ball Hyperextension

  • Kneel in front of exercise ball
  • Press abs and hands onto ball for stability
  • Straighten legs and put all your bodyweight onto the ball
  • Clasp hands behind head
  • Exhale and slowly lift torso up towards ceiling
  • Inhale and lower to starting position
  • Repeat

Note: Do not put pressure on your neck. Spread legs to shoulder width apart for balance and stability.

Reverse hyperextension with an exercise ball4. Ball Reverse Hyperextension

  • Lie on top of exercise ball
  • Keep legs extended and hands on floor for balance
  • Exhale and slowly raise legs toward ceiling
  • Inhale and slowly lower legs to starting position
  • Repeat

Note: Press pelvis into ball to maintain balance and stability.

5. Side Lying Leg Lifts

  • Lay on your left side, with ball underneath your torso
  • Wrap left arm around ball and hold stability ball with right arm in front of your chest for stability
  • Exhale and slowly raise right leg towards ceiling, slightly above parallel position
  • Inhale and lower to starting position
  • Repeat
  • Perform same movement while laying on your right side

Core Ab Exercises

The following core exercises place more emphasis on the abs:

1. Exercise Ball Crunches

  • Lie on back and place exercise ball between your feet
  • Clasp hands behind your head
  • Raise feet off ground, keeping knees bent
  • Lift shoulder blades off the ground and slightly twist your body, pointing left elbow forward
  • Simultaneously keep left leg straight and bend right knee towards you
  • Straighten right leg and immediately bend left knee towards you
  • Bring left elbow back to neutral position and point right elbow forward
  • Repeat

Note: Do not pull or twist your head with your hands as they are only used to support your neck.

2. Leg Raises with Exercise Ball

Leg raises with an exercise ball

  • Lay on back with arms and legs fully extended
  • Hold ball with both hands
  • Simultaneously raise arms and legs towards the ceiling
  • Grab exercise ball with legs and squeeze
  • Lower arms and legs simultaneously
  • Raise arms and legs
  • Grab ball with arms
  • Lower legs and arms
  • Repeat
Perform the plank exercise on a stability ball3. Plank on Exercise Ball
  • Rest forearms on exercise ball
  • Keep legs straight and hold position for 30-60 seconds

Note: Planks can be performed with straight arms or with the exercise ball resting on the feet and the arms on the floor. Do not hold breathe while performing planks.

4. Exercise Ball Crunches

  • Rest lower back on exercise ball
  • Keep feet firmly planted on ground
  • Fold arms across chest
  • Lean back and look upwards towards the ceiling
  • Keeping feet planted, bring torso up to 45 degree angle
  • Repeat

Note: Do not hyperextend back while performing crunches. Keep feet shoulder width apart to maintain balance and stability.

5. Exercise Ball Rollout

Ball rollout exercise with proper form and technique

  • Begin exercise on your knees in front of an exercise ball
  • Place hands on top of exercise ball
  • Slowly let the exercise ball roll out away from you
  • Fully extend body with exercise ball resting on forearms
  • Slowly return to upright position by allowing exercise ball to roll back up to your hands
  • Repeat

Note: Keep the movement slow and controlled to decrease risk of injury. Do not hold your breath.

Warm up Exercises

Before starting an exercise program, a five to ten minute warm up is advised. Here are two warm up exercises with the stability ball:

1. Squat and overhead press with Exercise Ball

  • Hold exercise ball in front of you
  • Squat and raise ball overhead
  • Repeat

2. Side Bend

  • Stand with exercise ball overhead
  • Slowly lean over to left
  • Return to center
  • Slowly lean over to the right
  • Repeat

Core Exercise Routines

Core Workout #1

The following stability ball exercise programs are designed to strengthen the entire core:

  • 50 Jumping jacks
  • 25 Squat and overhead press w/exercise ball
  • 15 Side bends
  • 20 Ball bridges
  • 25 Hip raises
  • 30 Crunches
  • Plank (60 seconds)

Perform 2-3 sets. This workout can also be incorporated into your existing exercise program.

Core Workout #2

  • 50 Jumping jacks
  • 25 Squat and overhead press w/exercise ball
  • 15 Ball Hyperextensions
  • 15 Ball reverse hyperextensions
  • 15 Side lying leg lifts
  • 50 Crunches
  • 25 Leg raises
  • 10 Exercise ball rollouts

Perform 2-3 sets. This workout can also be incorporated into your existing exercise program.

Start using a stability ball today. Your body will thank you!


Jump Rope to Master CrossFit Double Unders

The Double Under: Jumping Rope for CrossFit

CrossFit is one of the fastest growing sports today. CrossFit started in 2000 and has been growing steadily ever since, with over 5000 affiliates worldwide. CrossFit is a series of basic fundamental moves that are performed at high intensity requiring speed, strength, agility and endurance. Exercises included in CrossFit involve gymnastics, weightlifting running, rowing and skipping rope.

Skipping rope in CrossFit is one of the most challenging ways to skip rope. It can also help a person improve their performance in many other CrossFit exercises.

The Double-Under

When skipping rope for CrossFit, competitors must perform a “double under,” or DU. A double under occurs when the rope passes under feet twice in one jump. Double unders made their CrossFit debut in 2001 and saw their popularity increase at a competition in 2009.

Initially, many of the participants were unable to complete the exercise because they were unprepared for how difficult it was. Skipping rope may be difficult, but if a person wants to be successful in CrossFit, this is an exercise that must be mastered: double unders are one of 7 exercises that have been included in every CrossFit Games Open and is included in the 2016 CrossFit Open as well.

When performing DU’s in competition, a person must complete a certain number without making a mistake. If they trip or have to stop they are required to start from the beginning. The number of DU’s a person must complete in competition can vary. The gold standard for double unders in CrossFit is being able to perform them nonstop for 2 minutes. However, many Workouts of the Day (WOD) only require performing 25-50 DU’s at a time. The general consensus is if a person can perform that many in training, it will probably suffice in a competition.

Many of the various CrossFit exercises require speed, coordination, balance, and explosive power. Double unders improve each of these and can be applied to other WOD exercises. DU’s also help to develop midline stability, which is a key component in the majority of CrossFit exercises.

Double unders are especially useful for Olympic lifting, cleans and the push press. These movements require explosive hip movements, which is developed when performing DU’s.

Equipment: Choosing the Proper Rope

Master your Double Unders for CrossFit with DynaPro Direct’s Jump Rope

Ropes come in different sizes. Here are tips on choosing the proper sized rope:

  1. Step on the center of the rope
  2. Pull the rope up to your armpits
  3. The edge of the rope should come up to your armpits
  4. Ideally the rope should be six to ten inches above your head when skipping

In order to complete double unders successfully, a certain type of rope must be used. When choosing the perfect rope, here are some things to look for:

  • Cable quality. Ropes usually have nylon or vinyl coatings. Nylon is the more popular of the two because it is durable and lasts longer.
  • Comfort. The rope should have a good grip and turn quickly and smoothly.
  • Lightweight. Double unders are a high intensity exercise that require the arms and wrists to move very quickly. To keep the upper body fresh, a lightweight rope is recommended.
  • Durability. Being able to use the same rope both indoors and outdoors is a plus.
  • Versatility. A rope may need to be adjusted slightly after a few workouts in order to obtain the optimum length. Purchasing a rope that may be resized is a wise investment.

A rope can also be chosen based on a person’s height:

Length of Rope Height of Jumper
7 feet 4'8" and under
8 feet 4'9" to 5'0"
9 feet 5'1" to 5'8"
10 feet 5'9" to 6'2"

 

Mastering the Double Under

It takes time, practice and a lot of patience to master DU’s. Once a person has the proper rope, they can try the following tips:

Learn the basics. Being able to jump comfortably with singles is key. Practice jumping faster with single jumps to help improve timing, coordination and footwork. Aim for 100 jumps in 60 seconds or less.

Vary your speed. Practice speeding up the rope and slowing it down without stopping. This teaches a person how to control the rope and their movements

Practice skipping and running in place. Skipping rope in this manner looks like a person is literally running in place. It will also help to increase footspeed:

  • Start with basic jump
  • Increase the speed
  • Raise right leg high as if running, with left leg low
  • Raise left leg high with right leg low

Try your first double under. Once a person can vary their speed and skip rope quickly, they can try their first double under:

  • Take 5-10 single jumps
  • Speed the rope considerably by whipping wrists forward
  • Keeping legs straight, jump 2-3 inches higher than normal to ensure it goes under twice
  • Perform single jumps for 3-5 repetitions
  • Attempt another double under

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Double Unders Require Slightly Different Mechanics than Single Skips:

Use your wrists. The turning of the rope comes primarily from the wrists. Keep shoulder movements to a minimum.

Keep your hands low. Make sure your hands are below the ribcage and slightly in front of your torso. Raising the arms too high will raise the rope, causing it to catch on your feet.

Don’t kick your feet back. Jump straight up and straight down in the same spot to prevent tripping.

Work on timing. As the rope comes down, be ready to jump quickly. Jumping too early will throw the timing off and cause a person to eventually trip.

Listen to the rhythm. Double unders have a distinct, repetitive sound: the rope hits the ground twice, then the feet hit the ground. The sound is constant and doesn’t change. Practice by listening for the beat.

Look forward. Keeping your head up and staring at one spot in front of you will help to keep the body in line. This will also help maintain focus and eliminate distractions.

Practice daily. The only way to master double unders is to practice daily.

Double Under Routines

Here are a few great CrossFit routines that feature Double Unders1

Note: The weights listed are the maximum weight a person should use for that particular exercise. Less weight can be used for those unable to perform exercise with the weight lifted. Consult with a physician before performing any of these exercise.

Routine #1

  • 10 thrusters w/ 135 lbs max
  • 50 double unders
  • 8 thrusters w/ 135 lbs max
  • 40 double unders
  • 6 thrusters w/ 135 lbs max
  • 30 double unders
  • 4 thrusters w/ 135 lbs max
  • 20 double unders
  • 2 thrusters w/135 lbs max
  • 10 double unders

Routine #2

  • 50 double unders
  • 21 kettlebell swings at 55 lbs. max
  • 12 pull-ups

Routine #3

  • 10 front squats w/155 max
  • 50 double unders
  • 8 front squats w/155 max
  • 40 double unders
  • 6 front squats w/155 max
  • 30 double unders
  • 4 front squats w/155 max
  • 20 double unders
  • 2 front squats
  • 10 double unders

Routine #4

  • 21 Box Jumps (or step ups)
  • 50 Double Unders
  • 15 Box Jumps
  • 15 Push Press

Routine #5

  • 50 Double Unders
  • 9 Box Jumps
  • 9 Push Press
  • 50 Double Unders

These workouts can be quite challenging, but for some, the double unders are used to recover between exercises.

Double Unders for Recovery

CrossFit can push a person to their physical and mental limits. Being able to recover between exercises is key, and many competitors have been able to "rest" while doing double unders.

Here are tips on how to rest and recover while performing DU’s:

  1. Jump higher. Jumping higher allows a person to slow down their double unders. The higher a person jumps, the less energy they will expend overall.
  2. Breathe. As a person’s conditioning improves, the body will become more efficient and use less energy when performing exercises like double unders. Deep breathing while performing double unders can help a person relax and get a little “rest” before the next exercise begins.

CrossFit is the ultimate challenge for many fitness enthusiasts. Mastering the jump rope and double unders in particular will help a person improve in all areas of CrossFit and get in excellent shape at the same time.

Check out DynaPro Direct’s range of professional grade fitness equipment to endure every part of your performance, then success is within your reach.


Floyd Mayweather Jump Rope Excerses - Skipping Rope, Criss-Cross Feet Jumps, techniques boxers train with.

Jump Rope for Boxing and Skipping Routines for Boxers

Want to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" like Muhammad Ali? If so, one of the first things you must do is learn how to skip rope. Next to boxing gloves, a jump rope is a must-have for anyone interested in boxing.

The jump rope has been used by fighters for decades: Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Sugar Ray Robinson Roberto Duran, Rocky Marciano and Gene Tunney all mastered the art of jumping to help improve their boxing skills. Ali was known as the best jumper of all big men when he was in his prime. Modern fighters have continued to master the art of skipping rope, with boxers like Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson leading the way.

Floyd Mayweather Jump Rope. Boxers like, Mayweather prefer a PVC cable as opposed to a wire cable for the weight, speed, and control benefits.

The Importance of Skipping Rope for Boxers

Boxing requires many skills that skipping rope can provide. Here are some of key benefits of skipping rope for boxers:

Improved footwork. Having good footwork is mandatory for boxers. As the opponent throws jabs, combinations and uppercuts, good footwork will help a person avoid these punches without losing their balance. Good footwork will also help a boxer maintain their center of gravity, which enables them to throw effective counter punches.

Endurance. Skipping rope is a high intensity exercise that requires a person to move quickly throughout the exercise. The same philosophy applies to boxing. Moving quickly is important, especially in the later rounds when fatigue sets in.

Increased speed. The faster a person can skip rope, the faster they may be able to move in the ring. This is critical when trying to land (or avoid punches.)

Improved timing and coordination. Skipping rope activates many fast-twitch muscles that are important for boxers. For example, the wrists are used to turn the rope quickly, which can translate into throwing quick jabs, combinations, and uppercuts. Skipping rope can also help a person move from one foot to another to dodge punches without losing their balance.

Increased punching power. Boxers who are off balance tend to throw ineffective punches that lack power. Jumping helps boxers remain balanced when throwing punches, thus making them more potent.

Professional grade jump ropes on sale - up to 50% Discount

The Speed Rope

In order to jump like a boxer, the first step is finding the appropriate rope. There are many types of ropes available, but the speed rope is the preferred rope for fighters. Speed ropes are lightweight, thin and spin easily, matching a boxer’s rhythm and their movements in the ring.

The length of the rope is also important and can vary depending on a person’s height:

Length of Rope Height of Jumper
7 feet 4'8" and under
8 feet 4'9" to 5'0"
9 feet 5'1" to 5'8"
10 feet 5'9" to 6'2"

 

One way to determine the correct rope size is by placing one foot on the center of the rope. If the handles reach up to armpit length, it is a good fit.

The Equipment

In this section we describe the importance of having a quality jump rope.

Make sure you have the proper equipment. It is important to find a rope that’s well made and the right weight for control. Mayweather uses a solid PVC Rope.  Many cheap PVC ropes are hollow in the center which makes the rope too light. Here are some things to look for:

-          You really need a perfectly weighted jump rope (the actual rope not the handles) to create a rhythm that you can predict.  Our ropes are designed with Professional Weight PVC Cord, built for speed, and high grade metal ball bearings paired with ring joints, adjustable to any height.

Professional Weight PVC Cord on a jump rope used by boxers like Floyd Mayweather.

-          Easily Adjustable, One size does not fit all! Start with the rope long and slowly cut sections to make it shorter until you reach your optimal length. Our rope provides you with a jump adjust.

Floyd Mayweather jump rope with adjustable connectors.

-          Long Handles help with control. They also position the rope further away from your hands which creates a shallower curve under your feet and prevents the rope from catching the edge of your sneakers. Check out our long jump handles.

Floyd Mayweather jump rope with Longer Handles

Once the appropriate rope has been obtained, a person can learn to skip like a boxer.

Skip Like a Boxer

In order to skip rope like a boxer, it’s important a person master the basics first.

Beginner basics. Patience is key when learning to skip rope. Mastering the fundamentals and increasing stamina is key before attempting jumps that are more complex.

Initially, aim for jumps of 20 second intervals. As you become more proficient, jump for one minute intervals, then two, and finally three minute intervals. Resting for 30-60 seconds between each set will simulate rounds.

Resist the urge to swing your arms.Keep your arms close to your sides and use your wrists instead.

Stand up straight and look forward. Some beginners hunch over because they feel the rope will hit them in the head. A proper sized rope will go over a person’s head easily.

Jumping a few inches off the ground is ideal. Jumping too high may put unnecessary stress on the knees and other joints of the lower extremities such as the ankles, hips, and feet.

Avoid the double bounce. The double bounce occurs when the rope skipping is too slow. Eliminate this bad habit by speeding up the rotation of the rope.

Land on the balls of your feet. Do not let your heels touch the ground while skipping. The phrase "keep you on your toes" means to stay alert and able to think and move quickly. The same applies to skipping rope: Staying on the balls of your feet allows you to jump quickly and effortlessly.

Relax your upper body. Keeping the upper body relaxed will minimize any undue stress on the back and shoulders.

Once a person has mastered basic skipping and has improved their conditioning, they can begin to learn advanced jumping skills that boxers frequently use.

Advanced Skipping - Floyd Mayweather Jump Rope Exercises

The following variations are extremely popular among boxers and are staples in their training regimen:

Running in place

Boxing jump rope to improve your running technique
Skipping rope in this manner looks like a person is literally running in place:

  • Start with basic jump
  • Increase the speed
  • Raise right leg high as if running, with left leg low
  • Raise left leg high with right leg low

Note: Raise knees higher for a more intense jump.

Side Swing

  • Start with basic jump
  • Put hands together and swing arms down the left side of the body
  • Swing rope down the right side
  • Spread arms to jump again
  • Repeat for desired reps

Side to Side

Jumping rope technique for boxers - Side to Side

  • Start with basic jump
  • Jump from side to side

Note: Increase the distance of the side jump to increase the intensity.

One legged hops

  • Start with basic jump
  • Jump twice left leg, keeping right leg in the air
  • Jump twice on right leg, keeping left leg in air
  • Repeat

Criss-cross feet jumps

  • Start with basic jump
  • Cross feet right foot in front of left
  • Return to normal position
  • Cross left foot in front of right

Criss-Cross with hands

  • Start with basic jump
  • Cross arms at elbows while rope is on downward swing
  • Jump through loop
  • Uncross arms on next downward swing
  • Repeat

Double-unders

  • Start with basic jump
  • Increase speed of swings
  • Jump and swing rope faster to ensure rope goes under feet twice

Note: Beginners may have to jump higher to ensure the rope goes around twice, but as they become more proficient, that will not be necessary.

Scissors

  • Start with basic jump
  • Jump and land with right foot in front of you, left foot behind you
  • Repeat with left foot landing in front, right foot landing behind you
  • Repeat

As a person becomes proficient in these various moves, they can create several routines that will help them improve their boxing skills.

Top Rope Skipping Routines for Boxers

While many boxers use skipping rope as a warmup for their workout, skipping rope can be combined with other exercises to create an effective, high intensity workout.

Workout #1: Rounds

Skip rope for same length of time as a boxing match:

  • Jump rope 3 minutes
  • Rest for 60 seconds
  • Jump rope 3 minutes
  • Repeat for 6-8 rounds

Note: Incorporate a variety of skipping styles to simulate the varying intensity that would be felt in the ring (double-unders, one leg hop, scissors, etc.)

Workout #2: One Minute Punching intervals

  • Jump for one minute
  • Immediately put on gloves and punch heavy bag for one minute
  • Rest for one minute
  • Jump for one minute
  • Punch heavy bag for one minute
  • Repeat
  • Perform 5-8 sets

Workout #3: Strength Training

  • Perform normal strength training routine
  • Jump rope at easy pace for 60 seconds between sets

Workout #4: Jogging/Roadwork

Boxers do a lot of running, but may be unable to get outside due to bad weather.

Perform 20-30 minutes of high intensity jumping to simulate running outside. Incorporate a variety of skipping styles (double-unders, one leg hops, scissors, criss-cross, etc.)

Workout #5: Conditioning

Perform the following exercises in order.

  • Jump rope for one minute
  • Pushups for one minute
  • Jump rope for one minute
  • Sit-ups for one minute
  • Jump rope for one minute
  • Squats for one minute (bodyweight)
  • Jump rope for one minute
  • Back extensions for one minute
  • Rest for 2 minutes and repeat
  • Perform 2-4 sets

Note: keep rest to a minimum to simulate the rigors of an actual boxing match.

Minute for minute, skipping rope is a high intensity exercise that burns more calories than practically every other exercise. It is excellent for conditioning and is a must for boxers of all levels if they want to achieve any type of success in the ring.


Stretches and exercises for relieving post-workout muscle soreness

The Top Stretches for Sore Muscles

One of the byproducts of a great workout is muscle soreness. While people of all fitness levels may experience muscle soreness, beginners may experience it most often. Muscle soreness can occur 24 hours after a workout and can last anywhere from two to five days and is completely normal.

Muscle soreness will dissipate over time, but gentle stretches may help alleviate the discomfort as well. Here are the top stretches for muscle soreness:

All exercises should be done slowly and gently. A person's range of motion may be reduced, so the stretches should be adjusted accordingly.

ChestStretching technique to alleviate chest pain by DynaproDirect

  • Stand and clasp hands behind you
  • Extend arms downward towards the ground and slowly look up towards ceiling
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds then release

Note: This stretch is effective for sore muscles as well.

 

Shoulders

Stretching to alleviate shoulder pain1. Shoulder Stretch #1

  • Hold a chair, bannister, or anything stable at waist level
  • Standing at arms distance, slowly lean forward, keeping arms and back straight
  • Hold at bottom for 10-15 seconds then release

Note: Tucking the chin into the chest will stretch the back as well.

 

2. Shoulder Stretch #2Shoulder stretching technique to relieve tight, sore neck from DynaPro Direct

  • Stand with both arms extended outward, parallel to the ground
  • Slowly move arms in forward, circular motion with narrow, circles
  • Gradually widen the circles
  • Stop and reverse the circles, starting with narrow circles then wider circles
  • Perform 10-20 repetitions

 

Quadriceps stretch Quadriceps stretches to help relieve pain

  • Stand placing right arm on wall or door for support
  • Raise left leg and grab ankle with left arm
  • Slowly bring leg up, pulling ankle close to your body
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds then repeat with right leg

Note: This exercise may not be suitable for those with knee problems. Consult with your physician before trying this exercise if you have knee pain or suffered a knee injury.

 

Hamstring Stretch #1Effective hamstring stretch to relieve back pain

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Slowly bend at hips and touch toes
  • Hold for 10 seconds then release

Note: If range of motion is diminished, reach as far as you can comfortably. Do not overextend. Tucking the chin will stretch the lower back as well.

 

Hamstring Stretch # 2

  • Effective hamstring stretching technique from DynaPro Direct for knee painLay on back with both legs extended
  • Slowly raise left leg to vertical position with bottom of foot facing ceiling
  • Clasp back of hamstring with both hands
  • Keeping thigh in upright, bend at the knee then slowly raise again
  • Perform 15 reps then lower leg to starting position
  • Repeat with right leg

Note: Range of motion may be limited, so do not attempt to overstretch or overextend leg.

 

Hamstring Stretch #3

  • Stretching to heal sore hamstringsSit on floor legs comfortably apart
  • With right knee bent, slowly reach forward towards left ankle
  • Hold part of leg you can reach comfortably for 10 second
  • Release and return to center
  • Repeat on right leg

Note: Tucking chin into chest will stretch lower back as well. This exercise can be done with knee bent or both legs straight.

 

Calf StretchesEffective calf stretching technique from Dynapro Direct to reduce pain

  • Lean onto wall with arms fully extended
  • Stand with right foot back, left leg bent
  • Lean towards door while keeping heel of right leg on floor
  • Hold for 15 seconds then release
  • Repeat with left foot back

 

Reduce muscle soreness with DynaPro's gym grade fitness products

Muscle soreness is common after exercise. A combination of rest and light stretches will allow the body to recover and be ready for future exercise sessions.


Health benefits of training with resistance bands

Top 4 Benefits of Using Resistance Bands During Workout

Don't have time to work out? While some see this an excuse, there may be some truth to it:

A Gallup poll reports that adults employed full time in the U.S. report working an average of 47 hours per week, almost a full workday longer than what a standard five-day, 9-to-5 schedule entails. In fact, half of all full-time workers indicate they typically work more than 40 hours, and nearly four in 10 say they work at least 50 hours.1

When family responsibilities, commute to and from work, and other activities are factored in, not having the time (or energy) to exercise every day for sixty minutes is understandable.

As a society, we are busier than ever, and this trend doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. A person's health is still a top priority, so getting exercise is critical. While people feel they may be too busy to go to a gym or work out consistently, resistance bands allow even those with the most hectic schedules to get an effective workout anytime, anyplace.

The Benefits of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands (or exercise bands) offer many benefits:

Portable. Resistance bands can be folded and used at the office, at home or on vacation. They can easily fit into a suitcase and used at a moment's notice. All a person needs is a door, table, bannister or other stable place to anchor the band.

Variety. Resistance bands can be used in a variety of ways, allowing a person to get a challenging full body workout.

Inexpensive. A set of resistance bands can be purchased for less than the price of a monthly gym membership.

Ease of use. Unlike lifting heavy weights, resistance bands are safe to use alone without a spotter or someone close by.

Save over 40% on high quality resistance bands

Full Body Resistance Band Workout

Here's a great resistance band workout:

ChestChest workout using the resistance bands

  • Stand with feet planted, one foot in front of the other, wide stance, leaning slightly forward
  • Bring hands up slightly below shoulder with elbows bent
  • Exhale and push forward to full extension
  • Inhale as arms are returned to starting position
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15 repetitions

Muscles worked: chest, shoulder, triceps and core.

Note: These exercises can be performed slowly or quickly to activate fast twitch muscle fibers and explosive movements. Standing further away will increase the resistance.

 

BackBent over row using exercise bands

Bent-Over Row

  • Stand on the resistance band, feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping back parallel to the floor, exhale and bring resistance bands up towards navel
  • Inhale and lower
  • Repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15 reps

Note: Looking forward will help keep the back in the properly positioned.

 

 

Variation:

Back ExtensionBack extension with resistance band

  • Sit on floor with resistance band looped around both feet
  • Keeping the back straight, exhale and pull resistance bands towards navel
  • Exhale and return to starting position
  • Repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15 reps

Muscles worked: Back, biceps and shoulders

Note: Both exercises can be performed quickly for explosive movements, or alternating one arm at a time.

 

ShouldersSide lateral raise with a resistance band

Side Lateral Raise

  • Stand on resistance band, feet shoulder width apart
  • Exhale and raise both arms parallel to the ground
  • Inhale and lower
  • Repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15 reps

Muscles worked: Side deltoids

Note: a closer stance or just one foot on the band will decrease the resistance.

 

 

Front Lateral RaiseStanding front lateral raise with resistance bands

  • Stand with one foot or both feet on resistance band
  • Exhale and bring arms out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor
  • Inhale and lower
  • Repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15 reps

Muscles worked: front deltoids

 

 

Biceps

Resistance band bicep curl exerciseBicep Curls

  • Stand with one foot or both feet on resistance band
  • Keep back straight and exhale as arms are curled up
  • Inhale and lower
  • Repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15 reps

Muscles worked:biceps

 

Triceps

Triceps Kickback

  • Stand with one foot on end of resistance band
  • Hold the other end of the band with right hand, keeping arm bent
  • Hold band in hand like a pulley with left hand
  • Exhale and extend arm behind you until straight
  • Switch hands and repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15

Muscles worked: triceps

 

Leg ExercisesSquats with resistance bands

Resistance Band Squats

  • Stand with feet planted on ground, resistance band underneath
  • Keeping arms at shoulder level, inhale and squat down to seated position
  • Exhale and stand up straight
  • Repeat
  • Perform 1-3 sets of 15

Muscles worked:thighs, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders

Note: A wider stance will increase the resistance

 

 

Resistance Band Leg KickbacksGlutes kickbacks with resistance bands

  • Start on all four's with hands holding ends of resistance band
  • Loop band around right foot
  • Exhale and extend leg back, slightly towards ceiling
  • Inhale and lower leg back towards starting position, but not letting the knee touch the floor
  • Repeat
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 25 on each leg

Muscles worked: thighs, hamstrings, glutes, core

 

Abs

Standing abs twist using a resistance bandStanding Exercise Band Twist

  • Loop exercise band around sturdy object
  • Stand with exercise band on your right
  • Hold exercise band in both hands and exhale as you rotate body to the left, keeping feet planted
  • Inhale and return to starting position
  • Repeat
  • Perform 3 sets of 15 reps

Note: Perform exercise slowly initially to minimize risk of injury to back or spine

Exercise bands are a great way to work the entire a body in a short amount of time. Resistance bands come in many levels of resistance and can be of benefit to all fitness levels.

When performing the various exercises, squeeze the muscle at the height of the movement and visualize the muscle working. A person may be pressed for time, but resistance bands may be exactly what they need to get in shape.