Fun ways to tone up with a jump rope

Fitness Equipment: Jump rope – A Fun Way to Look and Perform Better!

A jump rope isn't just a toy for the playground anymore. Instead, it is a great piece of equipment for a full-body workout. A jump rope easily tones your arms, legs and core, and it is a powerful tool for some high-intensity cardio.

It is important to realize that a jump rope is not only beneficial for cardio workouts, though. It can also drastically increase balance, and it quickly boosts coordination, leaving you more agile than ever. Jump ropes fast-twitch muscle fibers in adapting to become more reactive and explosive. Beyond just that, a jump rope helps strengthen your bones and allows joints to stay strong and elastic.

You probably know most of the classic jump rope exercises, such as two-foot jumping or skipping rope (one foot lands while the other launches), but did you ever think of what else you can do with a jump rope? Other important exercises include backward jumping, side jumping, single leg jumps and high knee jumps. These exercises will engage even more muscle groups throughout the body and (literally) keep you on your toes.

A jump rope can be used for a stand-alone workout, but it is also easy to integrate it into a circuit workout. By combining intervals of body-weight resistance training with jumping rope, you are able to achieve strength training and a cardio workout in a single session. It can also be used in combination with other equipment, such as resistance bands or exercise balls to add even more variety.

Jumping rope is a fierce calorie burner, and it is lower-impact than running. At the beginning, you will need to get used to the rhythm of the rope and practice your jumping. Start off by doing just a minute as a time, but work toward longer and faster repetitions as you grow more comfortable. Soon enough, it will be as easy as jumping double-dutch in the schoolyard.

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As with all workout equipment, safety is key to performance. When jumping, you should keep your knees at a slight bend with the rope at hip height. Make sure to keep your torso upright. Stand with good posture, including the chest forward and shoulders back.

Whether you are new to the idea of working out with a jump rope or you are a tried-and-true believer, there is no doubt that a jump rope can help increase your performance in ways that you may not have imagined. Why wait any longer? You may as well just jump in!


Ideas to escape a boring exercise routine

Tactics for Alleviating the Boredom Associated with Your Workout

One of the biggest obstacles to getting a workout in can be lack of motivation. Working out may not always be the most entertaining activity, and you can probably come up with a lot of things that you would rather be doing. Take a look at these ideas to help you keep your workouts interesting.

Don't repeatedly do the same workout. Repetition day-after-day not only feels boring, but also keeps you from using new muscles. The muscles that you are using will get used to what they are doing, leaving you with no improvements. It is important to realize that novel exercise is best for strengthening the whole body. Change resistance, speed or number of reps.

Another aspect of your workout that is easy to mix up is the scenery. Now that spring is here, you have an opportunity to get outside. Why use a treadmill when you can take in the scenery outdoors? Beyond just that, being outside gives you an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Being outside is a chance to bring the dog out or even run some errands, if possible.

Try bringing a friend along with you. A workout can be a great social opportunity, and conversation is a great distraction. Your workout partner may even help push you to work harder. Making plans to meet with a friend will also keep you committed to showing up. There's no backing out when you know a friend is waiting.

An important part of pushing past your workout boredom involves setting goals. You will probably need to change up your workouts to achieve those goals, and integrating cardio with strength training will propel you further. Start with small milestones and work upward. By setting goals, you are competing with yourself to do your best. Take in your victories and note your progress. Over time, you will see that you have made a huge transformation.

An obvious suggestion that often goes overlooked is to play some music. Mix up your playlist and push yourself to match the tempo. There are websites with playlists designed to match a specific tempo or heart rate. Maybe even turn your workout into a game. There are tons of apps designed specifically for this purpose that focus on running, lifting or other types of exercises.

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Overall, there's a lot that can be done to help combat boredom during a workout. That said, your biggest obstacle and your fiercest competitor will be yourself. Keep the benefits of your workout in mind, and you will be pushed above and beyond.


Exercise ball to stay fit and energetic in the office

Exercise Ball: Make the Smart Choice to Stay Fit at Work!

You may have heard of people replacing their classic desk chair with an exercise ball, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd to replace a sleek, leather-covered, padded, rolling chair with a big ball full of air? What, exactly, is all the hype about?

There is much more to an exercise ball than first meets the eye. While sitting on an exercise ball, the body is constantly making small adjustments to remain balanced. Though these adjustments are usually unrecognizable, they are repeatedly working various muscle groups in the core and back. Using these muscles strengthens the core muscles and increases balance through improved posture.

A classic office chair is often considered a major source of back and neck pain. Most office equipment is built in a way that promotes poor posture, rather than good posture. This improper sitting can decrease productivity by reducing oxygen intake, and, in turn, energy. Slouching, or poor posture, has various short-term and long-term effects, so it should be ended sooner rather than later. Luckily, the option of using an exercise ball in place of a traditional office chair is now becoming commonplace.

Short-term, improved posture will help you to walk a little taller and sit comfortably for longer time periods, but those are not the only benefits. Improvements to your posture will take tension away from your entire body. Blood flow and breathing are quickly improved. Improvements in posture have also been shown to improve brain function and memory, along with mood increases and stress reduction. Beyond just that, improving your posture can eradicate back pain or put a stop to it before it even happens.

Sneak some exercise into the work-day. You can easily toss in some hip exercises by rolling backward or forward. You can also work your quads simply by sustaining a slow bounce. Beyond that, there are various exercises that you should probably hold off on until your lunch break, and these exercises will leave you feeling fresh for the second half of your day.

When beginning with an exercise ball in the office, you may want to use the ball for short periods of time until you become used to sitting on the ball. You will be surprised at how quickly your muscles grow tired at first, but your core and back muscles will soon adapt and strengthen with increased endurance. While on the ball, your thighs should maintain a position parallel to the floor, with upper arms remaining parallel to the spine. Keep in mind that your face should be pointed toward the middle of your computer screen rather than looking up or down to the screen.

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Using an exercise ball in place of a desk chair has very clear benefits that will help you not only now, but years into the future. Your health, energy and posture can quickly be improved by making this small transition. It is time to make the smart choice to roll your desk chair out of the door and roll an exercise ball in.


Reasons to try resistance band training over free-weights

Why Resistance Bands Are Better Than Free Weights

Buying workout equipment is always a big decision. What equipment should I buy? What weight should I go for? How much am I willing to spend? Luckily, there is an easy solution to all these problems. Instead of throwing money at free weights or even machines, just one resistance band can offer you a multitude of workouts that will push you above and beyond the scope of a free weight exercise.

Cost

Beginning with the most obvious benefit, resistance bands are extremely cost-effective. Unlike free weights, which you need to purchase multiple sets of, resistance bands can be adjusted by changing the amount of slack on the band. You don't need to buy multiple sets of heavy weights.

Whole-body workouts

Some people may not realize that resistance bands can be used for so much more than just arms or legs. A resistance band can be used on every major muscle group, and it works at any fitness level. Resistance bands also introduce variety into workouts by engaging these many muscle groups with multiple exercises.

Not dependent on gravity

It is important to realize that resistance bands work independent of gravity. In contrast to free weights, resistance bands work horizontally and diagonally, not just vertically. This aspect helps to target specific muscles and protect joints from damage.

Lightweight

Resistance bands are very light compared to heavy free weights. The lightweight and small size makes resistance bands very easy to travel with or store away. It also makes the bands safer than free weights, which may be dropped dangerously.

Linear varying resistance

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The resistance of the bands varies linearly. In other words, as one increases the range of the exercise, the elastic resistance increases. Free weights are always at the same weight, while resistance bands change resistance during exercise. As the muscles begin to adapt, a person can begin to push himself or herself to higher and higher resistances.

Avoid gym equipment

One can do so much more with one resistance band than could be imagined. The resistance band takes the role of many machines and can be added to body-weight exercises to increase benefits. Why fill a room with a multitude of free weights and a clutter of machines when one resistance band is an option?

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Resistance bands are a clear answer to your workout equipment stresses. Light and low-cost resistance bands allow you to avoid the clutter of other equipment that simply is not as efficient as a resistance band. Resistance bands are perfect for whole-body workouts, and they can help you increase strength to your full potential. As an added bonus, a resistance band doesn't leave your hands smelling metallic and dirty the way that free weights do.