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A better you, for life.
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    [caption id="attachment_18122" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Pond5 Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    Just because you’re short on time doesn’t mean you should skimp on a proper warm-up. Tune in to DailyBurn’s Fit Minute podcast to hear how bodyweight training specialist and former pro snowboarder Cody Storey uses a mobility warm-up to get the most out of his workouts. Follow along (below) for the right movements to warm up the joints and promote a greater range of motion.

    [soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/106203034" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

     RELATED: 5 Mobility Training Tips from Kelly Starrett

    For a complete mobility program as well as a 15-minute mobility workout with Cody Storey, visit DailyBurn.com

    Originally posted September 17, 2013. 

    The post 5 Essential Benefits of Mobility Training appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    Anja Pylometric Exercises

    Blast fat fast by performing these total-body movements back-to-back! Plyometrics are explosive exercises that burn calories, improve agility, and increase both strength and speed. These super-effective cardio workouts also better your balance while strengthening your muscles. If you’re short on time but want a quick and effective workout, try these five plyometric moves from DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia. They’ll get your heart rate up and work your entire core, leaving you feeling powerful and energized. And since you’ll have plenty of time to spare, follow it up with Cody’s bodyweight exercises while your body’s still warm. Ready, set, jump!

    For more workout videos you can do in a time-crunch, visit DailyBurn.com.

    Originally published on August 21, 2013. 

     

    The post 5 Fat-Burning Plyometric Exercises [VIDEO] appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn LTF Ben Booker Abs

    What do you think of when you hear strength training? Huge guys and bulky girls doing bicep curls, with six-packs you could never get? Meatheads hoisting heavy weights, clanking barbells and plates you don't know how — or want — to use? If you’ve always pictured having a fit, strong physique but don’t know which program will get you there, DailyBurn's new Live to Fail (LTF) may be the answer. All you need are two sets of dumbbells and a box — no gym membership or pricey personal training sessions necessary. Skeptical you won't see results? DailyBurn trainer, Ben Booker, may just convince you otherwise.

    Meet LTF's Trainer

    Ben Booker wasn’t born with a six-pack. Fitness was always a part of his life, having been a basketball, football and track athlete in high school, but so was alcohol. It was an endless cycle for him — four months of training, followed by three months of drinking. And in his senior year of high school, everything changed. After a night out drinking, Ben got into a near-deadly car accident, leaving his back broken in two places. He was charged with a DUI and had his license suspended, at which point he turned to weight training.

    “When I started rehab, I lifted weights to try to get back in shape,” says Ben. “I used a hypertrophy program, targeting specific muscles with a designated rep range and minimal rest, which breaks down the muscle tissue so that it grows as it repairs itself.” Ben stuck with this program long enough that his body began changing. “People started coming up to me saying ‘Hey, what are you doing because it’s working.’” Ben freely shared what knowledge he had and realized how much he enjoyed helping others with fitness.

    Though it took a little more time, Ben also took control of his drinking. For years, he wasn’t able to step out of the comfort zone of the life he knew. But when he finally asked for help in 2006, the small-town Illinois-native was able to rebuild himself and find his true potential.

    [caption id="attachment_32804" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn LTF Ben Booker Abs Photo: DailyBurn[/caption]

    “If you think you have it all figured out, you don’t,” says Ben. “You have to be humble, which by definition means being able to remain teachable. My biggest gains in life have come from my most humble moments, when I’ve been on my knees, asking for help, not knowing where I was headed. It’s not until we cross that line that we can experience who we really are.” Hitting that point of failure and being able to grow from it became the seed for Live to Fail, the workout program he went on to develop with DailyBurn.

    The Workout Program

    So what does failure mean in the context of fitness? Think of it as failure to maintain pace or to be able to stay with a specific weight for a  prescribed rep range. We aren't talking about a one-rep max failure. It is about safely overloading the targeted muscle, within that rep range, for a designated result, also known as hypertrophy and definition through maximum calorie burn by keeping your heart rate high. After all, the concept of building muscle is the process of breaking it down (failure of muscle strength), to rebuild it stronger to handle the load.

    With those fundamentals at its core, LTF is a strength training program for men and women who truly want to change their bodies. If you dread spending hours at the gym on the treadmill or elliptical to get in shape, these workouts will change your mind about fitness. Each 35- to 55-minute session requires only two sets of dumbbells and a plyo box. Not sure how to even begin choosing your dumbbell weight? Ben talks you through a test to determine the correct weight for you.

    [caption id="attachment_32805" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn LTF Ben Booker Chest Photo: DailyBurn[/caption]

    During the first six weeks, you’ll do a video a day with exercises that target a specific muscle group, with four sets of 10 to 12 reps, and minimal rest. The second six weeks ups the intensity with higher reps and some supersets. Ben and the LTF team will be there to help you maintain proper form and guide you to failure on moves you might not be familiar with. “Failure comes in many forms and is different for everyone,” says Ben. “That’s what I love about this program. It’s for people who have never stepped foot in a weight room before — as well as gym rats who lift on the regular. As long as you show up every day, we’ll help you get the results you want.”

    Nutrition Plan and Supplements

    As with all fitness programs, nutrition plays an important role. LTF provides users with a full nutrition plan, complete with a formula to calculate the amount of protein, fat and carbs you’re allotted daily to hit your macronutrient goals. Nervous you’re not cut out for “dieting?” This is no starvation diet — the plan is designed to deliver the quality nutrients your body needs during periods of high-intensity training. LTF lays out meal plans and lists of foods that complement the workout program, helping to keep you full, energized and in the best position possible to make strength gains.

    “It can be a lot to start a new fitness and nutrition plan at the same time,” says Ben. But you can’t out train a bad diet. Just ask Josh Christensen, who lost 30 pounds, while gaining significant muscle definition after completing the LTF program. “You have to be all in or it won’t work,” he says. “I know because I've tried other programs without the nutrition and nothing happened. Once I educated myself and learned what to eat, the changes started coming.” Within a few weeks of starting LTF, Josh noticed strength gains and that he was losing fat. The nutrition and fitness components of LTF are designed to work together in order to get optimal results.

    [caption id="attachment_24359" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mocha Coffee Shake Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote[/caption]

    Nutrition also includes supplements — but don’t let that word scare you. These products get their name from being able to “supplement” for the calories, protein, vitamins and nutrients that you should be getting but aren’t able to through food. “I believe in these supplements and use them every day,” says Ben. In order to get optimal results from LTF, here's what the program suggests:

    • Pre: Taken 30-45 minutes before workout; gets you focused and energized to maximize workout
    • Post: Taken immediately after workout; includes many beneficial nutrients like BCAAs, glutamine and vitamin C to keep you from getting sore and help start the recovery process (for more info on pre and post-workout supplements, click here)
    • Creatine: Taken before workout; a highly recommended product if you want to gain muscle and size (women can take, but in smaller doses — Pre already has the recommended amount for women in it)
    • Fuel-6: Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free protein powder taken post-workout or anytime during the day in the form of protein shakes; helps get you more protein if you’re not able to get enough through whole foods
    • Multivitamin: Taken in the morning with a meal; helps you get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs daily, such as Omega-3 fish oil

    Why Try It

    There’s no shortage of programs promising to get you ripped — fast. You may know firsthand that many, if not most, fall flat. That’s why LTF sticks with you for 12 tough but transformative weeks — providing you with workouts, nutritional advice, and the motivation you need to keep you on track. If you show up and put in the work, the results will follow — muscular arms, washboard abs and well-defined legs, chest and back. And for ladies, this program will build strength and definition all over — without adding bulk. But the physical transformation is just the beginning: Commitment to your fitness will help you think clearer, sleep better, focus more at work, and have more confidence.

    “I believe there are four big aspects in life: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual,” says Ben. “When you push yourself physically, it can help you mentally and emotionally. Finding that clarity and balance that can come through physical fitness, by pushing your body to failure and then moving past it, that’s how we become stronger. And that’s what LTF is all about.”

    If you’re looking for a strength training program that will change you, try DailyBurn’s Live to Fail program here, free for 30 days.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. Neither these products, nor the statements herein, have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.

    The post Live to Fail: A New Strength Training Program from DailyBurn appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    MetCon Workout

    [caption id="attachment_33302" align="alignnone" width="620"]MetCon Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    Can you transform your body in 20 minutes? Unlikely. But can short, but intense workouts get you results over the course of several weeks? The answer is yes.  

    You may have heard of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), but that’s not the only interval game in town. Enter: metabolic conditioning, aka MetCon, a specific type of interval training designed to improve the delivery of nutrients to the body with set rest and work ratios. This increase in efficiency translates to other activities so you can lower your time in your next mud run or even your next marathon.

    The Science Behind Going All Out 

    "The goal of metabolic conditioning is to train your body to work at a higher intensity and increase the efficiency of storage and delivery of energy."

    The prevailing wisdom many years ago was that long endurance training sessions were necessary to improve your cardiovascular system. Now, research suggests there’s more than one way to improve your cardio fitness. Study after study has continued to show that interval training, the art of alternating high-intensity with low-intensity efforts, can be beneficial for your heart and lungs. High-intensity training can also be just as effective as traditional endurance training at burning fat. And thanks to the afterburn effect, you’ll continue to burn calories and fat immediately following your all-out training session. Ramping up your workout intensity may even help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

    According to Ben Booker, DailyBurn trainer and owner of Second Chance Fitness, the goal of metabolic conditioning is to train your body to work at a higher intensity and increase the efficiency of storage and delivery of energy. The methods behind the protocol involve pushing your heart and body to the max before allowing a brief period of recovery and then repeating. As Booker explains, the more you do this, the more efficient you become meaning your body is able to deliver oxygen, pump blood, and meet the demands of exercise with less work.

    So how exactly can 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise mimic the effects of a longer cardio session? Research suggests the answer lies in specific enzymes and cell signaling pathways stimulated by all-out effort. In short, the “on” periods where you’re working as hard as possible create a cascade of events within the body that leads to beneficial adaptations such as an increase in mitochondria (the “power plant” of the body) and an increase in our ability to burn fat for fuel. 

    When to Push Your Limits

    While going all-out can be advantageous, doing it every day can actually be detrimental to your success. Whether you’re getting started with a new workout routine or adding metabolic conditioning to your regular training program, Booker advises doing no more than two 10- to 30-minute sessions a week. Also, be wary of tacking them onto other workouts in the same session, since adding them onto an exhausting lifting session can lead to injury due to fatigue. (Note: If you’re schedule leaves you no choice but to combine them, shorten the overall time of the workout by doing fewer intervals.)

    When it’s time to get to work, Booker suggests movements like bodyweight squats, which are easily modifiable and can be done virtually anywhere. Complex, full-body exercises also beat out machine-based variations that isolate only one muscle group.

    The final lynch pin before getting started: selecting your work-to-rest ratio. A 30-on/30-off ratio would mean you’re going all-out for 30 seconds, followed by a 30 second rest. Not quite up to speed? Move to 20/40 or 15/45 depending until you build up your fitness level. The key is to push yourself towards your max heart rate, Booker says, not go head-to-head with the guy or girl next to you.

    The Ultimate MetCon Workout

    Ready to let the transformation begin? Perform each exercise for 30 seconds at a high intensity, followed by a 30-second break. Repeat the entire sequence five times (30-on/30-off) for a total of five minutes before moving on to the next exercise. Remember, the goal is to work as hard as possible at a pace you can sustain for all five sets!

    [caption id="attachment_33301" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate MetCon Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    1. Bodyweight Squats
    How to: Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and begin to lower the body, sitting back on your heels as if you’re sitting back into a chair (a). Keep your upper body tall and avoid letting your knees pass your toes. Try to get low enough so that your upper thigh comes below parallel with the ground before pushing through your heels to drive back up (b).
    Modification: Use a chair or a box as a target when you’re sitting back in the squat. If necessary, just sit down on the box. Then, stand up by driving through your heels with good squat form.

    2. Box Push-Ups 
    How to: This is just like a traditional push-up, but instead of placing your hands on the ground, place them on each side of a box (a). The goal is to squeeze the box throughout the entire exercise as you lower your chest all the way to the box (b). Then, be sure to keep the body in a straight line the entire time while you push back up (c).
    Modification: As you continue to build strength, you can modify this exercise in two ways. First, you can drop down to your knees and continue with the push-up rather than being on your toes. In this variation, you’ll still want to keep your body in a straight line (from your head through your knees). Second, you can shorten the range of motion by not lowering all the way down to the box.

    3. Frog Jumps
    How to: You’ll ideally want to use a low box for this one, but you can use the floor if necessary. Start in a push-up position with your hands planted firmly on top of the box (a). In one explosive movement, hop your feet forward around each side of the box so you land in a squat position with your feet in line with your hands (b). Then, spring back to the starting position (c).
    Modification: Rather than explosively jumping back and forth, step one foot forward at a time, then step each one back to the starting position. The key is just to keep moving at your own pace! 

    4. Burpee Box Jumps 
    How to: Start by bending your knees slightly and exploding up onto a box like a traditional box jump (a). Then, jump off, place your hands on the box, and hop your feet back so you’re in a push-up position (b). Perform a push-up touching your chest to the box (c). Then, hop your feet back underneath you and perform another box jump (d).
    Modification: You can modify this exercise in multiple ways. First, you can step up on the box instead of jumping. You could also remove the push-up. Finally, you could step back into push-up position as opposed to hopping back. Pick whichever variation lets you work at a high-intensity for the entire 30 seconds.

    For more strength and MetCon workouts, try DailyBurn's Live to Fail strength program, free for 30 days. 

    The post The Ultimate 20-Minute MetCon Workout appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    Weight Loss Success Stories

    Weight Loss Success Stories

    For Kayla Sleigher, it wasn’t until her early 20s that her weight started to become a serious problem. Her trigger: Transitioning into adulthood, which threw off her previously active lifestyle. “You go into the real world and start working and having a family. Taking care of myself wasn’t a priority,” Kayla, now 31, says. “I never cared to exercise. I didn’t care what I ate.”

    At five-foot-seven, Kayla weighed 150 pounds when she was 20 years old. But for the next eight years, she avoided the scale — pushing aside worries about weight gain in order to focus on her son, career and family. In 2004, she met her future husband through mutual friends. Four years later, she got married, on May 3, 2008.

    Yet, when her wedding photos arrived, Kayla got a stark wake-up call about her weight. “The photos were completely devastating to me,” Kayla says. She hated the way she looked on her wedding day, and in her dress. “I don’t have a single photo from that day out in my house. They are all shoved away.”

    But painful as it was, those photos motivated Kayla to finally step on a scale. It read 209 pounds.

    RELATED: Denied Insurance, My Motivation to Lose 80 Pounds

    Fighting to Get Fit

    Weight Loss Success Stories“I spent a year being depressed and feeling sorry for myself after my wedding,” Kayla remembers. Finally, in January 2010, she decided enough was enough. It was time to get fit. “Eventually, I just got to a point where I was like ‘This is stupid,’ sitting around hating myself,” Kayla says.

    By making simple changes like cutting out soda, eating more protein, and taking walks around her neighborhood, Kayla lost 35 pounds between January and August of 2010. But eventually, Kayla’s motivation started to wane — and her weight loss plateaued.

    “I didn’t know what program to follow,” Kayla says. “You could research a million weight loss programs for years and still come out confused. I needed someone to set out a whole plan for me.” She thought about joining a gym but the nearest one was 40 minutes away— too far of a commute to justify a membership.

    Hooked on Inferno

    Just as her resolve was starting to waver, Kayla came across a DailyBurn commercial on TV in January 2014. The first month of membership was free, so she figured she might as well give it a shot. Never one to back down from a challenge, Kayla decided she wanted to dive into the hardest program she could find on DailyBurn. “I started with Inferno and I was hooked,” Kayla says. “Anja jumpstarted me and… and the weight finally started coming off.”

    Though her first Inferno workout was definitely tough — it was worth it. “Half an hour after I was done, I felt great. I worked out really hard, but I still had so much energy,” Kayla says. “That’s what kept me going back; you get that rush and that’s what keeps you going.”

    With the help of Inferno, Kayla shed 20 more pounds — and started seeing serious results. “My waist is so much smaller, my butt is more lifted,” Kayla says. “I feel like if I wanted to sign up for a 5K tomorrow, I could do it.”

    Kayla says her weight loss has also allowed her to keep up with her active husband and 12-year-old son. “My husband tried doing one workout with me and couldn’t make it!” Kayla says. Even more impressive: Kayla recently challenged her son to a push-up contest — and she won.

    Consistency Is Key

    One of the keys to Kayla’s success: Scheduling her workouts at the same time every day, even on weekends. “I love to do them between 9 and 10 in the morning. It gives me enough time to have breakfast, wait for the food to settle, and then do my workout,” Kayla says. “Then, afterwards, I have my protein shake and lunch.”

    With only five more pounds to go until she reaches her goal weight of 137 pounds, Kayla and her husband have their sights set on renewing their vows — and recreating those pictures that Kayla would still rather forget.

    She’s since dabbled in numerous DailyBurn programs, from Tactical Bodyweight Training to Cardio Sculpt. And she doesn’t plan to stop, even after she’s done shedding pounds.

    “I definitely want to continue on this road,” Kayla says. “At this point, it’s not even about getting skinny any more, I’m happy with my weight, happy with how I look — I just want to be healthy. This is the only body I have. I have to take care of it.”

    To learn more about DailyBurn or to try a free 30-day trial yourself, click here.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week.

    The post My Wedding Photos Were My Weight Loss Wake Up Call appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn Black Fire Bob Harper

    Mix dumbbells, a box, a clock, a world-renowned trainer, and the desire to be the fittest version of yourself, and what do you get? DailyBurn Black Fire, your new workout program led by Bob Harper, fitness television star, three-time number one New York Times best-selling author and celebrity trainer.

    You’ve watched him change hundreds of people’s lives on TV, and now’s your chance to work out with him at home.

    The plan: High-intensity sessions never totaling more than 20 active minutes, five days a week, with two dynamic recovery days. Every day is a different workout; you’ll focus on numerous disciplines including speed, endurance, balance and agility through constantly varied movements to become more functionally fit overall.

    “It’s all about being able to challenge the body and make the body think,” says Bob, who has more than 20 years of experience in the health and fitness field. ”No one wants to be doing the same workout all the time because you get too comfortable.” The program is designed to be challenging, but still accessible for all levels since you can scale each movement to your ability.

    [caption id="attachment_35167" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Black Fire Workout Program With Bob Harper Photo: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Black Fire with Bob Harper: Making Every Rep Count

    For many, the hardest part of a fitness program is sticking with it. But with Black Fire you’ll be writing down your score for each workout, so you can easily track progress over the 60 days. That’s right — your biggest competition is yourself! “Maybe a workout is 10 minutes long and you have done a certain amount of reps,” explains Bob, ”then a couple weeks later you do it again and the reps increase. You can see the results as the numbers change and that’s motivation within itself.”

    Think you got what it takes? If you’re ready to join Bob Harper, turn your living room into your gym, and push your body harder than ever before, here’s what to expect over the next 60 days of Black Fire.

    "You need to constantly be checking your form and make sure your last rep looks as good as your first rep."

    Phase 1: The Basics

    Before jumping into any workout program it’s important to create a foundation by learning the proper form for each exercise. “The way the phases are set up is so important when it comes to preparing yourself for more difficult moves,” says Bob. “I help teach you the basic movements so your body knows what you’re doing, and then we add from there.” Don’t be fooled thinking this is the “easy” part, though. You may be doing bodyweight-only burpees and air squats, but you’ll be doing them to exhaustion.

    Phase 2: Stacking Up

    It’s time to pick up the intensity and build on the workout sequencing, so while the cap is still 20-minutes, each minute will be as effective as possible. “It’s all about improvement and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.” Instead of just bodyweight movements, you’ll be adding equipment like dumbbells and medicine balls to perform exercises such as bent over rows, deadlifts and wall balls.

    [caption id="attachment_35085" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Black Fire Workout Program With Bob Harper Photo: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Phase 3: Next Grade

    Here, you’ll utilize the strength, balance and coordination you’ve been building up with DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia. These functional training principles become important to help prevent injury as you get older. Expect to try gymnastic moves you may never have attempted before like handstand kick-ups and push-ups to bridge. “Challenge yourself but be smart about it,” warns Bob. “You need to constantly be checking your form and make sure your last rep looks as good as your first rep.” When fatigue starts to set in, this stage will test your mind as well as your body. And if you’re not sure about your posture or have a question about technique, don’t hesitate reaching out to a DailyBurn coach.

    Phase 4: True Grit

     

     

    "Black Fire is gritty; it’s raw and refreshing. It’s something that’s not out there yet. It’s aggressive."

     

     

    Find out how far you’ve come. During the last two weeks of Black Fire, revisit each workout in sequential order to track improvement from the first time you performed it. From “Weighted Tabata” to “Cyclone 15” to “Air Force Style,” you should notice that you feel stronger and more coordinated. “Go faster, get heavier with the weights, push the limits to see those results,” says Bob. Breathless will have a whole new meaning when you’ve completed this final phase. But man, will it feel good.

    Black Fire turns your home or hotel room into a personal gym so those who want to truly push themselves and advance their fitness level now can. It’s far from easy; in fact, it’s challenging and competitive. Black Fire gives you that anxious, excited feeling in your stomach, of “what’s going to happen today,” as the clock counts down 3, 2, 1. But it’s that rush of adrenaline that sets it apart from other fitness programs.

    “I’ve seen all the workouts and I’ve done a ton of workout DVDs but this program is different,” says Harper. “Black Fire is gritty; it’s raw and refreshing. It’s something that’s not out there yet. It’s aggressive. And that’s why I wanted to be a part of it and why I believe in it.”

    If you’re up for the challenge, head to DailyBurn.com to start your first Black Fire workout with Bob Harper today.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

    The post DailyBurn Black Fire: Work Out With Bob Harper, Test Your Grit appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    Push-Up Woman

    Ditch the dumbbells and still build strength? Yes, it’s possible! The right bodyweight exercises can work your legs, glutes, back, chest and core in just 30 minutes or less. In addition to conditioning your upper and lower body, you’ll increase your endurance with moves that get your heart pumping, too. So if you’re short on space, time or equipment, check out DailyBurn trainer Cody Storey’s five bodyweight moves in the video below. And for an all-out effort, try it back-to-back with this fat-burning workout to target trouble spots from all angles. Get ready to get low!

    RELATED: 5 CrossFit Workouts That Will Kick Your Butt

    The 15-Minute Bodyweight Workout

    Jog in place (or do jumping jacks or jump rope) for one minute to warm up your muscles. Then, complete exercises one through five for 30 seconds each, and rest for 30 seconds at the end of each round. See if you can hang for five rounds total — that’s just 15 minutes of work!

    To try the complete bodyweight workout series with Cody or Bob Harper, free for 30 days, visit DailyBurn.com

    Originally posted November 13, 2013. Updated December 2014. 

    The post 5 Bodyweight Exercises for a 15-Minute Workout [VIDEO] appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn Pilates

    [caption id="attachment_36399" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Photo: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    The secret to finally getting the strong, defined abs you’ve always wanted has nothing to do waist training, ab rolling or logging a gazillion crunches a day. Instead, it has everything to do with The 100, the single-leg teaser and engaging your “powerhouse.”

    No clue what we’re talking about? Meet DailyBurn’s new Pilates program, taught by Andrea Speir, a Los Angeles-based Pilates instructor, who’s been practicing for 16 years — and has the body to show for it. Pilates is all about activating the body’s “powerhouse,” or your core muscles, according to Speir. From strengthening your lower back to improving your running form and relieving tension in your shoulders, Pilates has a variety of benefits that have nothing to do with getting a six-pack (though you might end up with one!).

    “We’re building a base and learning to move with proper form and alignment,” Speir says. “We’re also teaching you how to engage your abs in the deepest and most effective way, focusing on exercises that deepen that connection while working the full body.”

    Pilates: Strength in Numbers

    Speir first discovered Pilates when she was just 12 years old. An avid dancer, she tore her meniscus while secretly moonlighting as a long jumper for her middle school track team. Rather than undergoing surgery, Speir started doing physical therapy and Pilates. “I loved it. I felt really great and it got me stronger pretty fast,” Speir says. Inspired by the way Pilates changed her body, she eventually got her certification to teach. “That turned into never looking back,” Speir says. “My abdominals have never been so strong.”

    But Speir says it’s a misconception that Pilates was developed for ex-ballerinas. “It was actually created by Joseph Pilates to help rehab soldiers in World War One, ” she notes. Which brings her to the second myth she’d like to correct — that this is a workout built for women. “It’s great for everyone, men, women, people of any age; it’s nonexclusive.”

    [caption id="attachment_36398" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Photo: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    The Core Benefits of DailyBurn Pilates

    The 16-day DailyBurn Pilates program was designed by Speir for both beginners and people who have been doing Pilates for years. The best part: Each workout is only around 25 minutes. Speir says she recommends people try to fit in three to six sessions per week in order to build and maintain strength throughout the program.

    “We work every part of your core, including the deepest layer, the transverse abdominals, which are not necessarily always used,” Speir says. “They wrap around your torso like a corset and support the entire body.”

    To target those tough-to-reach muscles, DailyBurn Pilates focuses on teaching students how to properly engage their abdominals. In the videos, which include tutorials in classic moves, core flow series, and stretching sessions, Speir gives detailed instructions on how to get the most out of each move. The key: “To properly engage your abs, think about drawing your navel into your spine and scooping it up along your spine like you’re hallowing everything out,” she instructs.

    Strengthening these underlying core muscles helps support the lumbar spine and lower back, Speir says, which can help prevent lower back injuries. Plus, toning those areas will help give you great visual results, too. “The aesthetic you’ll get is those vertical lines down the side [of your core], they make your abs really look amazing and also cinch and tighten your waist.”

    DailyBurn Pilates: 3 Moves to Try Now

    You don’t need much fancy equipment for Pilates, but one prop Speir recommends is a Pilates magic circle, which can be used during both core exercises and stretching. “It’s my favorite prop because it increases the resistance and intensity of every exercise, it really ups your results 10-fold,” she notes. But don’t worry, if you aren’t ready to make an investment, you can still get a great workout sans gear. “It’s a no-excuses situation. You can put a towel and a carpet on the grass and jump into these videos,” Speir says.

    Can’t wait to get started? Check out these three moves for a sneak peek of the type of deep abdominal work you’ll get from the DailyBurn Pilates program. “It creates the strong core that will help you immeasurably in other styles of fitness,” Speir says.

    [caption id="attachment_36414" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates The 100 GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    The 100

    Pilates devotees world-wide are familiar with the notorious “100,” which often appears towards the beginning of a class. “The point of this exercise is it gets your blood pumping and instantly warm you up,” Speir says. “Mastering this exercise is going to really implement the base foundation of a lot of your exercises and kick your workout off right.”

    How to: Draw both legs into your chest, hold on to your legs, curl your head and chest up to a tight ball (a). Send your legs out to a tabletop position with your knee directly above your hip, shins parallel to floor. Hold on behind your thighs and actively curl up, deepening and hollowing out your abs (b). Hover your arms right above your abdominal wall and start to pump your arms 6 to 8 inches up and down, taking deep breaths, inhaling for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts (c). Repeat 10 times, without taking a break. Feel free to lower your head down and rest if the exercise feels too difficult.

    [caption id="attachment_36415" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Single Leg Teaser GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Single-Leg Teaser

    Speir says this move is one of her all-time favorites, because it’s nearly impossible to cheat while you’re doing it. “This exercise is all about keeping your abdominals in, your chest open and proud — and it’s hard!” Speir says. “It’s kicking those into abs into shape.”

    How to: Lying on your back, walk your feet in closer together, with your legs at a longer angle (not right in near your hands) (a). Extend one leg out, tightly hugging your inner thighs and knees together (b). Reach your fingers for your toes. Piece by piece, start to slowly round your body up reaching for those toes (c). Roll down only to your shoulder tips, come right back up and reach (d). Repeat four times. Place that foot down, send the other one out, and repeat 4 times.

    [caption id="attachment_36416" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Single Leg Circle GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Single-Leg Circles

    This move may look easy, but it’s actually working out both your core and lower body. Trust us, you’ll feel the burn. “The point of the [single-leg circle] is to teach you to keep your hips squared and aligned while you’re moving away from your body,” Speir says. “It’s all about posture and alignment while strengthening your abs and tightening and toning your legs, too.”

    How to: Lay down on the mat, shoulders down, ribs down, and extend your right leg straight up to the sky, with the left leg bent, foot flat on the floor (a). Circle your right leg across your body to your left shoulder, than back around to your right shoulder, stop at your nose. Focus on keeping abdominals scooped in (b). Repeat five times, then reverse, and switch legs.

    Ready to try DailyBurn Pilates? Head to DailyBurn.com to start working out with Andrea Speir, free for 30 days.

    The post Introducing DailyBurn Pilates, Plus 3 Pilates Exercises to Try appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

    [caption id="attachment_37098" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner HIIT Workouts Photos: Pond5[/caption]

    Just because you’re new to fitness doesn’t mean high-intensity interval training isn’t for you. Otherwise known as HIIT, these fast-paced workouts have been shown to torch tons of calories in a short amount of time — so you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. This type of training will have you alternating between periods of maximum effort (think: 20 seconds of jumping jacks) and short recovery.

    If you’re just getting into fitness — or starting over after an injury —  the key to success lies in doing the right moves, at your own pace. Yes, HIIT should be intense, but pushing too hard, too fast can result in injuries and other setbacks. Your task: Listen to your body, modify as needed, and complete each movement with proper form.

    RELATED: DailyBurn True Beginner: Starting Over With Fitness

    To kick off your journey without a hitch, we’ve tapped Justin Rubin, trainer for DailyBurn’s True Beginner program, to create three workouts, ranging from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Each one has easy-to-master moves, made just for you. All you need is water, a chair and a yoga mat.

    Before each workout, start with this dynamic, two-minute warm-up to get your muscles ready to go.

    • Jog or march in place for 30 seconds.
    • Then, stand and circle your arms backwards, one after the other, (as if you're pretending to do the backstroke) for 30 seconds.
    • Finally, perform a front lunge, side lunge and back lunge stepping with the same leg, then switch to the other leg and repeat. Continue one minute. Now, get ready to HIIT it!

    10-Minute HIIT Workout

    Work up a sweat in less than the time it would take you to drive to your gym with this simple routine. Best of all, you don’t need any equipment to jump right in.

    [caption id="attachment_37077" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Minute Beginner HIIT Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    Jab, cross, front (right side): Stand with the right foot in front of the left, hips facing to your left side. Bring your arms up into a boxing position. Jab (punch) forward with the right arm, then throw a “cross” punch with the left arm, letting your body rotate as your left arm crosses over your body to the right. Your bodyweight should be over your right foot, with your back heel picking up off the floor slightly. Bring both arms back into the body, shifting your weight back to the starting position and facing front. (This is the "front" move.) Repeat on the left side. For more detailed instructions, try Cardio Kickboxing 1 and 2 in DailyBurn’s True Beginner program.
    Jumping jacks: Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out while raising your arms. Repeat as fast as possible. If a regular jumping jack is too difficult, step side to side while raising your arms instead.
    Sumo squats: Position your feet a little more than hip-width apart and point your toes out at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your weight in your heels, back flat and chest upright, lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Engage your glutes and quads and push back to the start position. Repeat.

    Cool down with an overhead stretch, reverse lunge and forward fold.

    20-Minute MetCon: HIIT Workout

    Metabolic conditioning is designed to maximize your caloric burn, so you should expect this workout to feel challenging. You’ll go through five exercises that focus on full-body, multi-joint movements. Try to do as many reps as possible during each 45-second interval, then rest for 15 seconds before repeating.

    [caption id="attachment_37078" align="alignnone" width="620"]20 Minute Beginner HIIT Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    Push-ups: If you can’t complete a traditional push-up, place your hands on a stable chair or plyo box instead of the floor. Or, try doing push-ups with your knees resting on the ground.
    Squats: For extra assistance, use a chair for added support. Remember to keep your feet under your hips and your bodyweight in your heels, says Justin.
    Butt kicks: Jog or walk in place, kicking your right heel up to touch your bottom. Repeat with the left leg.
    Tricep dips: Place your hands on a chair or a low table, with your back to the chair. Put your legs straight out while balancing on your palms. Bending from your elbows, lower as far as you can, then press up to the original position. Engage that core!
    Side Lunges: With your bodyweight in your heels and your toes facing forwards, step to the left in a deep lateral lunge, keeping your knee above your toes. Alternate legs.

    Cool down with an overhead stretch, a quad stretch and a forward fold.

    30-Minute METCON: HIIT Workout

    Got half an hour? Try this longer workout to challenge your core, and your upper and lower body. (Fun fact: This will burn more calories than 30 minutes spent walking on the treadmill!) Complete the same three-minute warm-up as in the previous workout, then get ready to move it, move it.

    [caption id="attachment_37079" align="alignnone" width="620"]30 Minute Beginner HIIT Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    For exercise descriptions, see above.

    Cool down with an overhead stretch, a reverse lunge, a quad stretch and a forward fold, holding each move for 30 seconds.

    To try DailyBurn True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

    The post 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    6 Core Exercises for Beginners_1

    [caption id="attachment_37699" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Core Exercises for Beginners Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    So maybe you aren’t in good enough shape to get down and give us 50 crunches. But we know you’re not looking to ignore your core either. Well here’s no small truth: A strong midsection isn’t all about six-pack abs. Every time you carry groceries, laundry or even your kids, you’re relying on your core as a foundation of strength, explains Justin Rubin, DailyBurn’s True Beginner trainer.

    “Lots of beginners have upper back tension or lower back issues,” says Rubin. “Your core is located in your posterior chain and strengthening it will help keep your chest up and your spine strong,” which can correlate to some back pain relief.

    Whether you’re getting back into fitness after a lapse or you’re an exercise newbie, developing a solid core will increase your stability and balance. Translation: You’ll be able to perform more advanced moves with confidence as you regain your strength.

    RELATED: DailyBurn True Beginner: Starting Over With Fitness

    6 Beginner Ab Exercises

    And if you think you need to use a fancy machine to target those inner belly muscles, think again. We asked Rubin to demonstrate six easy-to-follow ab exercises for beginners, that don’t require any equipment. Follow along with the GIFs to bring variety to your next core workout.

    Bird-Dog-Exercise_low-quality

    1. Bird-Dog Crunch
    Targets: Abs, hamstrings, glutes and shoulders
    Start on the floor on all fours, hands placed directly underneath your shoulders, hips in line with your knees. This is your starting position. Lift your right hand and extend your arm straight out in on you, keeping it shoulder height, while simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back (a). Your whole body should be in a straight line from right fingertips to left toes. Bring your left leg to touch your right elbow under your stomach. Extend your leg and arm out again. Return to starting position (b). Repeat on the other side (c). Do five reps on each side.
    Modification: If you’re unable to maintain form, simplify this movement by forgoing the crunch. Instead, extend your arm and opposite leg out and hold for three seconds, then switch sides.

    Standing Bicycle Crunches for Beginners

    2. Standing Bicycle Crunches
    Targets: Obliques, rotational muscles
    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands placed behind your head. With a tight core, straight back and relaxed shoulders lift your right leg and simultaneously raise your right knee and lower your left elbow towards each other. (a). Return to the starting position. (b). Repeat on the opposite side. Do five reps on each side.
    Modification: If rotating your upper body downwards is too difficult, simply lift your knee to your chest while keeping your upper body still, alternating legs.

    Seated Leg Lifts for Beginners

    3. Seated Leg Lifts
    Targets: Abs, hamstrings
    Sit on the floor, legs extended straight out in front of you. Keeping your core engaged, lean back slightly, so you’re able to place your hands on either side of your glutes. Take a deep breath and lift one leg six inches off the ground (a). Hold for five seconds, and then put it down. Repeat with the other leg (b). Continue alternating for one-minute straight, then take a 20 second break. Repeat for five rounds.
    Modification: To make this exercise easier, lift one leg at a time without stopping to hold each one extended for five seconds. Need more of a challenge? After lifting a heel, bring your knee into your chest, then extend your heel back out and lower down. Repeat on the opposite side.

    NEW-sit-ups

    4. Sit-Ups
    Targets: Abs, possibly hip flexors depending on range of motion
    Sit on the floor with your knees bent, heels touching the floor, hands on either side of your head, shoulders dropped and relaxed to avoid tension in the neck. Keeping your feet on the ground, lay back until your back is flat on the floor, or as far as you’re able (a). Rise back up (b). Continue for one-minute straight, then take a 20 second break. Repeat for five rounds.
    Modification: Having trouble keeping your core and back engaged? Slowly lower yourself as far as you can, and work up to lowering completely down to the floor. There’s no need to go all the way back until you can maintain perfect form, says Rubin.

     Modified Bicycle Crunch for Beginners

    5. Modified Bicycle Crunch
    Targets: Obliques, rotational muscles
    Start in the same neutral position as the sit-up, sitting with knees bent, heels flat on the floor, hands on either side of your head. (a). Bring the right knee and left elbow towards one another, with a simple and gentle twist. (b). Return to the start position. (c). Complete the movement with the left knee and right elbow. Continue for one-minute straight, then take a 20 second break. Repeat for five rounds.
    Modification: This is a major progression from the sit-up, so if this movement is tough for you, keep practicing sit-ups.

    RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

    Spider Plank Crunch for Beginners

    6. Spider Plank Crunch
    Targets: Lower abs, glutes
    Start in a push-up position, hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders, legs extended backwards with your toes on the ground, so your body is in a straight line. Lift your right leg and bring your knee towards the outside of your right elbow (a). Return to plank position (b). Repeat the movement with the other leg. Do five reps with each leg.
    Modification: If this is too challenging, simply hold a plank on your elbows or hands for 30 seconds at a time, for three rounds. (If you have a wrist issue, Rubin recommends doing this movement on your elbows.)

    To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

    The post Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn Weight Loss Success Stories: Alex Clary

    DailyBurn Weight Loss Success Stories: Alex Clary

    Few people can boast being healthy and fit immediately after graduating college. Cafeteria food, late-night pizzas and beer can take a toll. But 22-year-old Alex Clary got an especially harsh wake-up call when he visited his doctor’s office for a check-up after graduation.

    During some routine tests, Alex says he learned that his blood pressure was “through the roof” and his cholesterol was “out of control.” Though his family history made him susceptible to heart disease, Alex knew his weight — 233 pounds — was also a big problem. His doctor advised him to start dieting, and immediately put Alex on medication to lower his blood pressure and cholesterol. Alex says, “That was the trigger, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do something about this.’”

    RELATED: Denied Insurance, My Motivation to Lose 80 Pounds

    Finding a Workout That Worked for Him

    Weight had always been a problem for Alex. He was the “big kid” in school growing up, and never had much luck sticking to a diet or exercise routine. In college, he would occasionally go to the campus gym, but didn’t really know how to structure his workouts. While he’d lose a few pounds here and there, he’d quickly fall back into his old habits — and the unhealthy dining halls at school didn’t help. “I’d either watch what I was eating or exercise, but until this past year I’d never combined both,” Alex, now 24, says.

    Alex, who lives in Noblesville, Indiana, had been on blood pressure and cholesterol medication for about a year when he saw a commercial for DailyBurn in January 2014, advertising a free 30-day trial. When he and his wife saw the app pop up on their Xbox, Alex says they decided to sign up. “Our community has a small fitness center, but to get myself to go when I got home from work was hard,” the 2nd grade teacher says. He’d tried other at-home programs but wanted more variety. Plus, he felt many of the workout DVDs he’d picked up were geared more towards women. “As a guy I felt weird doing Buns of Steel!” Alex says.

    "It was like a switch flipped as soon as I changed my diet...It was so exciting.”

    RELATED: How a DailyBurn Challenge Changed My Life

    Ready to make a change, Alex and his wife decided to try DailyBurn’s Tactical Body Training program with trainer Cody Storey, because they didn’t own any at-home gym equipment. “It was very hard — it’s a challenging program. But I felt like even at the fitness level where I was starting out, I could still do it,” Alex says. “I could scale things back if I needed or step it up if I felt like I could and I felt good when I got done.”

    Over the next month, Alex completed the full 28-day TBT program. “But [I] didn’t change my diet and I got to the end… and my weight hadn’t changed. I didn’t feel like I looked different,” he says. “So I thought, ‘Let’s keep dong this but let’s change my diet.’”

    RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet 

    Seeing Big Results — On the Scale and Off

    The decision to focus on both nutrition and exercise turned out to be instrumental for Alex. While he says he loves pizza and wings as much as the next guy, Alex’s problem had always been portion control, rather than junk food cravings. But after using a calorie-tracking app for the first time, he was able to make major strides in improving his diet.

    “It was like a switch flipped as soon as I changed my diet. That first week I lost a couple pounds, then a couple more the next week,” Alex says. “It was so exciting and there was nothing more motivating than actually experiencing that change.” Alex and his wife started eating more chicken and lean protein, and adding more vegetables to their diet. Some of their favorite meals: lentil tacos and vegetarian chili.

    Eventually, the couple decided to incorporate more strength training into their routine, and slowly started to build up a home gym — amassing dumbbells, kettlebells and heart rate monitors to help take their workouts to the next level. After finishing TBT, they moved on to DBK, a kettlebell workout. Other favorites: Cardio Sculpt and Intelliburn. 

    RELATED: My Wedding Photos Were My Weight Loss Wake Up Call

    Getting Healthier, One Workout at a Time

    The summer after he started DailyBurn, Alex returned to his doctor for a follow-up appointment. “I went back and…saw my doctor to follow up and he said, ‘I don’t even recognize you,’” Alex recalls. His health had markedly improved and he felt great.

    Since beginning DailyBurn in January 2014, Alex has lost about 75 pounds. And though his wife didn’t have as much to lose, she also shed 15 pounds.

    RELATED: Finding Strength: How DailyBurn’s LTF Changed Me

    So what’s next? Alex says his goal this year is to maintain his weight loss and continue to push himself when it comes to his workouts. “Doing the DailyBurn challenges [within each workout] and keeping track of how many burpees, or squats, or push-ups, you can do in a minute is really cool, too,” Alex says. “You can see that you’re making progress in your fitness — besides just that number on the scale.”

    To learn more about DailyBurn or try a free 30-day trial, head to DailyBurn.com.

    Note to reader: For those seeking to lose weight, keep in mind that extreme weight loss can be harmful to your health if done improperly or too suddenly. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week. The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

    The post How Losing Weight Transformed My Health Post-College appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    black_fire_event-940x400

    Bob Harper Plyo Box Giveaway

    You’ve probably seen them at your gym or CrossFit box. They come in many shapes, sizes and heights; some are solid and others squishier, but all can get the job done. We’re talking about plyo boxes.

    So what job is it exactly that they do? A plyo box, short for plyometrics box, is a tool that adds another element of challenge or modification to your workout routine. “It’s one of the best things if you’re utilizing your own bodyweight,” says Bob Harper, DailyBurn trainer. “Propelling yourself up on the box, even if you’re just stepping up, you’re creating a force that you wouldn’t have otherwise.”

    As their name indicates, this hollow or sometimes solid structure is used mainly for jump training. However, Harper likes to mix in push-ups, dips and even burpees over the box, one of the more dreaded moves featured in his new DailyBurn Black Fire program.

    RELATED: DailyBurn Black Fire: Work Out With Bob Harper, Test Your Grit

    “[Box training] hits your body in a different way, whether it’s an incline or a decline, and works different muscles,” says Harper. “By changing things up instead of just doing the same old push-up all the time, you get different benefits.”

    And these moves aren’t just for the advanced crowd. While putting your feet on the box to do push-ups may make the exercise more challenging, putting your hands on the box to do the same move can actually act as a modification for those who can’t so the full movement on their own. “One thing I learned working with the clientele on the Biggest Loser is that some people aren’t able to bend forward and put their hands on the ground,” says Harper. “The box helps bring their hands up to them, whether for mountain climbers, burpees or another exercise.”

    RELATED: 5 Advanced Push-Up Variations to Try Now

    Give the plyo box a go yourself. Get started with the moves below from Harper’s Black Fire program. Perform the circuit three times through, resting for two minutes only after finishing a full round.

    Don’t have a plyo box at home? You’re in luck! DailyBurn is giving five users the chance to win a box of their own, each signed by Bob Harper. [Click here to enter to win!]

    Plyo Box Total-Body Workout

    Plyo Box Push Ups

    1. Box Push-Ups
    Place your hands on either side of the plyo box, gripping the edges if that feels more secure, arms fully extended, legs extended backward, so you’re in a plank, body in a straight line from head to toe (a). Bending at your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lower your chest to the box (b). Press back up until arms are straight again (b). That’s one rep. Continue for 10 reps total.

    Plyo Box Jumps

    2. Box Jumps
    Stand behind the box, feet shoulder-width apart. With your knees slightly bent, hop onto the box, both feet landing fully on the box, and stand up fully (a). Hop or step back down (b). Complete 20 reps. Note: If you cannot jump onto the box, step up onto it, one foot at a time, and hop or step down.

    Plyo Box Dips

    3. Box Dips
    Stand in front of the box, facing away from it, and lower down until you’re able to to place your hands on top of the box behind you and grip it with arms fully extended. Knees should be bent at 90 degrees so your body is in reverse table top, stomach towards the ceiling. Keeping your elbows close to your body, bend your arms so your body lowers towards the ground, hovering about an inch above the floor (a). Extend your arms and raise your body back up (b). Repeat for 30 reps.

    Burpee Stepovers

    4. Burpee Over Box
    Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on the ground and hop your legs back to plank position, at the same time lowering your whole body onto the floor (a). With your hands still on the ground, using your arms, hop your feet back into your body, and jump up, arms overhead (b). Step up onto the box, then off the other side (c). Repeat for 20 reps. (Beginners, go for 60 seconds.)

    Inchworm Push Up

    5. Inchworm Push-Up
    Get into plank position, hands on the ground, shoulders over your hands, legs extended, body in a straight line, with feet placed on top of the box (a). Slowly walk your hands back towards the box, bending your legs as you go, until you can’t bend them anymore (b). Walk your hands back out to plank (c). That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps total.

    Want to try the full workout program? Head to DailyBurn.com and take the Black Fire challenge today.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core services and products offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn and that DailyBurn recently released a new program led by Bob Harper.

    The post 5 Plyo Box Exercises to Rev Your Fitness (Plus Giveaway!) appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn Pilates Workout

    7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Beginner Core Workout

    Can’t remember the last time you tried to tone your core? Though it might sound intimidating, a Pilates workout could be one way to start developing a stronger center. “One of the best things about Pilates is it is truly for anyone of any level,” says Andrea Speir, DailyBurn Pilates instructor. “Classical Pilates consists of over 600 exercises, all of which have modifications and variations.”

    Pilates might imply a pricey studio or fancy equipment to some, but in reality, all you need is a mat. These seven easy Pilates moves require no gear, and are simple enough to try almost anywhere. You’ll find yourself strengthening more than just your core, too. “Pilates is a full-body form of exercise, so everything is getting targeted,” Speir says.

    Even if you’ve been skipping out on ab workouts for a while, you can probably still pull off these moves with a few modifications. “In my opinion, it is one of the best things for newbies or people who feel they are out of shape because it will help build a solid base of strength… Everything is based on what your level is and yours alone,” says Speir. Try these seven simple moves to get started today.

    RELATED: What Happens to Your Body When You Skip the Gym

    7 Core Exercises for a Beginners' Pilates Workout

    DailyBurn Pilates Workout: The 100
    1. The 100

    At the core of every Pilates practice is ‘The 100,’ which is designed to get your blood pumping and warm you up, Speir says. Struggling to make it to the end of this move? “Make this a "50" instead,” Speir advises. “That means inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts. Do that five times. Focus on how much your abdominals are engaging and breathe.”

    How to: Draw both legs into your chest, hold on to your legs, curl your head and chest up to a tight ball (a). Send your legs out to a tabletop position with your knee directly above your hip, shins parallel to floor. Hold on behind your thighs and actively curl up, deepening and hollowing out your abs (b). Hover your arms right above your abdominal wall and start to pump your arms 6 to 8 inches up and down, taking deep breaths, inhaling for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts (c). Repeat 10 times, without taking a break. Rest your head flat on the floor, rather than curling it up, if the move feels too difficult.

    DailyBurn Pilates Workout Rolling Like a Ball
    2. Rolling Like a Ball

    Don’t take yourself too seriously. This playful move is actually a simple way to simultaneously massage your back muscles while also working your abs, Speir says. “This exercise is great for beginners because the rounded shape of your spine helps teach you how to properly and effectively engage the core muscles, while challenging them to work hard,” Speir says.

    RELATED: The Body-Sculpting TRX Abs Workout

    How to: Come into a seated position, knees bent, feet pointed, with just your toes touching the floor (a). Grasp the back of each thigh with each hand, and lift your legs up. Keep your knees shoulder-distance apart, and lower your head between your knees (b). Inhale, exhale, deepening your abdominals, practicing your balance, for two breaths (c). Rock back to your shoulder tips (never onto your head or neck), then back up, finding your balance for a moment. Repeat five times.

    DailyBurn Pilates Workout Single Leg Circle
    3. Single-Leg Circles

    With this simple sequence, you’ll learn how to keep your abs engaged, even when you’re moving your legs. “If you need a little bend in that knee of the circling leg, go for it!” Speir says. “It's far better to bend that leg than to have your hip lifting up and out of place.” Another tip for first-timers: It may help to bend your non-circling leg, rather than keeping it flat on the mat — this will help you engage your core and align your hips.

    How to: Lay down on the mat, shoulders down, ribs down, and extend your right leg straight up to the sky, with the left leg bent, foot flat on the floor (a). Circle your right leg across your body to your left shoulder, than back around to your right shoulder, stop at your nose. Focus on keeping abdominals scooped in (b). Repeat five times, then reverse, and switch legs.

    DailyBurn Pilates Workout Single Leg Teaser
    4. Single-Leg Teaser

    The single-leg teaser is an easy way to get your body prepared for the more advanced regular Pilates teaser — in which both legs are extended in the air. Mastering the single-leg teaser first will help you learn how to find and maintain proper form, Speir says. “Make sure your legs are tightly hugging together, even though one leg is extended. You want your knees touching the entire time,” Speir advises. “This midline connection will help the lower abdominals engage and also keep the leg from swinging or dipping around, which makes the exercise more difficult and allows the back and hips to take over.”

    RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

    How to: Lying on your back, walk your feet in closer together, with your legs at a longer angle (not right in near your hands) (a). Extend one leg out, tightly hugging your inner thighs and knees together (b). Reach your fingers for your toes. Piece by piece, start to slowly round your body up reaching for those toes (c). Roll down only to your shoulder tips, come right back up and reach (d). Repeat four times. Place that foot down, send the other one out, and repeat 4 times.

    DailyBurn Pilates Workout Criss-Cross
    5. Criss-Cross

    Who said Pilates had to be complex? You’ll work your entire mid-section with this simple move. “This is one of [my favorite] exercises for building amazing core strength,” Speir says. Having trouble lifting your head? Try rolling up a towel and placing it under your neck. “This will help you see your abdominals and make sure they are probably engaging while in a way imitating the action of having the head and neck up,” Speir says. Remember, you only want to use this modification for moves that require your head and neck to curl up, not any exercises where you’re lying flat on the ground.

    How to: Lay on your back, knees pulled into your chest, hands supporting the base of your head (a). Extend your right leg straight in front of you, left leg remains bent. Twist towards your left leg, holding for three counts (b). Switch, extending your left leg straight, pulling your right knee into your body. Spiral your chest towards the right knee, holding for three counts. Repeat twice. Then, do the move faster for four more full rotations (once on each side).

    DailyBurn Pilates Workouts The Saw
    6. Saw

    If you tend to shy away from traditional ab work (like crunches), this move might be your new go-to. “This exercise helps open and stretch the shoulders and upper back,” Speir says. “This is a must-do for beginners because it establishes a proper base and form for the body. It also builds strength, while giving a good juicy stretch.”

    How to: Sit up, legs spread as wide as a yoga mat (a). With your arms straight out to your sides, twist to your left (b). Stretch your right hand towards your left foot, pulsing three times (c). Roll up in the twist, untwist, and return to center. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat once more on each side.

    DailyBurn Pilates Workout The Mermaid
    7. Mermaid

    This stretch gives some much-needed attention to the sides of your body, which rarely get the TLC they deserve, Speir says. “Not only does it feel fantastic but it will help relieve tension and lengthen out your body.”

    How to: Rest on your right hip in a seated position, with your legs folded together to the left side (like a mermaid!) (a). Place your left hand around your ankles, and hold your right arm straight up in the air, grazing your ear (b). Keeping your abdominals engaged, reach your right arm towards the ceiling, and then out and over to the left, making sure your arm stays straight. You should feel a stretch along the right side of your body. Repeat twice (c). For a counter-stretch, place your right hand on the mat, bending it slightly (d). Lift your left arm up near your ear, and stretch to the right. Spin your legs around, and repeat on the opposite side.

    For more Pilates workouts you can do anytime, anyplace, head to DailyBurn.com.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

    The post 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Beginner Core Workout appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    MetCon Workout

    [caption id="attachment_39153" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Kick-Butt Burpee Variations You'll Love to Hate Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    This workout comes to you from DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia. You can find more high-intensity moves in her program Inferno, available at DailyBurn.com.

    What move is king of the bodyweight exercises? The one that leaves no major muscle group untouched? The almighty burpee, of course! This full-body movement delivers plenty of bang for your buck when you’ve got no equipment at hand. Think about it: You’re combining a squat, a plank, another squat, and an explosive jump. Both your upper and lower body are working hard each time you drop to the floor for a set.

    Burpees target your quads, glutes, core, chest, back and shoulders, explains DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia. And they’re great for cardio, too. Your heart rate will skyrocket as your endurance levels are put to the test. If the goal is going all-out, Garcia is a fan of Tabata-style burpees. That means eight rounds of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. Just four minutes and you’ll be done!

    RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

    7 Burpees You’ll Love to Hate

    The standard burpee is all about strength and conditioning. But why not take things up a notch? We asked Garcia to demonstrate seven burns-so-good burpees for those ready to graduate from the basics. Follow along with the GIFs below to push past your comfort zone or add variety to your next HIIT workout.

    If you’re in need of modifying any of these challenging moves, Garcia recommends stepping instead of jumping back into plank position for each burpee variation below. This modification will still engage your core and help increase your mobility. Let the battle of burpees begin! Pick your poison from the seven exercises below, listed from beginner to more advanced.

    Push Up Burpee

    1. Push-Up Burpee

    How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Quickly lower into a squat position and place your palms on the ground about a foot in front of your feet (a). Shoot your feet out behind you so you’re balanced on your hands and toes in a plank position, with shoulders directly over your wrists (b). Maintaining a straight line from head to toe, complete one push-up by lowering your chest to the floor, then press upwards back into plank position (c). Next, jump your feet forwards so you are in a low squat (d). To finish of the move, jump straight up, exploding from the heels, while bringing your hands above your head (e). Land with your hands at your sides in the neutral starting position. Repeat.

    Star Burpee

    2. Star Jump Burpee

    How to: Begin by performing a standard burpee (minus the push-up) detailed above. After dropping down, hitting plank position, and hopping your feet back to meet your hands, prepare to tack on a little extra! (a) Instead of jumping straight up, in this variation, you'll generate enough power to jump into a star position, arms and legs spread away from your body (imagine your entire body forming the letter "X") (b). Land softly, bringing your feet back together and your arms by your sides (c). Repeat.

    RELATED: 5 Advanced Push-Up Variations to Try Now

    Superman Burpee

    3. Superman Burpee

    How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Perform a standard burpee, lowering your chest down to the floor after plank position (a). With your chest on the ground, take your hands off the ground and shoot them out in front of your shoulders. Your upper and lower back should be engaged here (b). Bring your hands back under your shoulders, press upwards back to the plank position (c). Jump your feet forwards so you are in a low squat (d). Explode through your heels, jumping straight up and bringing your hands above your head (e). Land with your hands at your sides in the neutral starting position. Repeat.

    Side Burpee

    4. Side Burpee

    How to: This move begins like the basic burpee: Lower into a squat position and place your hands on the ground about a foot in front of your feet (a). Next, instead of jumping your feet back directly behind you, shoot them out diagonally to the left so you’re balanced on your hands and your toes, with your shoulders directly over your hands. You should feel your oblique abdominals engaged on the right side (b). Jump your feet back under your body so you are in a low squat (c). Jump straight up and bring your hands above your head (d). Repeat movement and shoot your feet out to the right.

    Mountain Climber Burpee

    5. Mountain Climber Tuck Jump Burpee

    How to: From a standing position, quickly drop down, placing your palms on the ground and jumping your feet back behind you so you’re in a plank position (a). Perform mountain climbers by rapidly alternating between bringing one knee up under your chest while keeping the other leg extended. Switch legs four times total and be sure to keep your hips down and your back straight. Your core should be engaged (b). Jump your feet forwards so you are in a low squat (c). Push through your heels, jumping straight up into a tuck jump. Your legs should come as close to your chest as possible (d). Land as softly as possible and repeat.

    RELATED: The 20-Minute Tabata Workout You Need to Try

    Dive Bomber Burpee

    6. Dive Bomber Burpee

    How to: Perform a regular burpee up until you reach plank position (a). From there, slide your hips back while shifting your weight until you reach down dog position (b). Next, do a “cobra” push-up: Bend your elbows and dive your upper body towards the floor. Let your hips follow your shoulders with the diving motion. Then, press your upper body away from the ground but let your hips stay close to the floor so you are in an “upward dog” position (c). Reverse the motion by bending your elbows and coming into downward dog position (d). Hop your feet forwards so you are in a low squat, then jump up while bringing both hands overhead (e). Land with your hands at your sides in the neutral starting position. Repeat.

    Box Jump Burpee

    7. Box Burpee

    How to: Have a plyo box or access to a sturdy step or ledge? Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Go through the movements of a regular burpee until you’ve jumped out of plank position and into in a low squat (a). Now, perform a box jump. With your knees slightly bent, hop up on a plyo box or stable, elevated surface (b). Hop or step down, and repeat from the beginning.

    For more high-intensity moves from Anja, head to dailyburn.com/inferno and try DailyBurn free for 30 days.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

    The post 7 Kick-Butt Burpee Variations You’ll Love to Hate appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    5 Easy Moves for an Awesome Arm Workout

    [caption id="attachment_39707" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Easy Moves for an Awesome 30-Minute Arm Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    This workout comes to you from DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia. You can find more full-body moves in her Inferno and Cardio Sculpt programs at DailyBurn.com.

    If the words, “Sun’s out, guns out,” make you cringe, you’re not alone. (And not just because that saying is so 1990.) As sweater season subsides, there are no more excuses to hide under long sleeves. If you’ve been doing the same old bicep curls for months without seeing results, it might be time to mix things up.

    RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

    These five creative moves from DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia can be done practically anywhere, and all you need is a set of dumbbells. (No clue which size weights to use? Check out this handy guide.) While these exercises will definitely target your shoulder and arm muscles, you’ll be pumped to know they also work out your back, core, glutes and legs, too.

    Garcia advises performing 15 to 20 reps of each move, for three to four sets, for a complete workout in less than 30 minutes. Grab your weights and get ready to flex!

    Your 30-Minute Arm Workout Challenge

    Arm Workout: Weighted Punches

    1. Weighted Punches
    Targets: Shoulders, back, core, biceps
    How to: Stand with feet slightly wider than the width of a yoga mat, dumbbell in each hand. Bending at the elbows, raise the dumbbells to shoulder height (a). Squat down, keeping knees over ankles, pushing through your heels. As you return to standing, come up balancing on your left leg, while thrusting upwards with your right leg, knee bent. At the same time, using your left hand, punch from left to right, crossing your body (b). Bring arm back to starting position, return to a squat and repeat on opposite side.

    RELATED: The Body-Sculpting TRX Ab Workout

    Arm Workout: Weighted Tricep Dips with Leg Lift

    2. Weighted Tricep Dips and Leg Switch
    Targets: Triceps, abs, glutes, balance/stability
    How to: Sit on the ground, legs in front of you. Supporting yourself on your hands and feet, raise your butt off the ground, until your back is flat and your knees are bent to nearly 90 degrees in a reverse tabletop position. Place a dumbbell on your lower abdomen, just above your hips, for added resistance (a). Position your hands so your fingertips are pointing towards your toes. Bending at the elbows, lower your butt until it is just above the ground, while simultaneously lifting your right leg straight up into the air (b). Repeat, raising your opposite leg.

    RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

    Arm Workout: Figure Four Curls

    3. Figure 4 Bicep Curls
    Targets: Biceps, glutes, quads
    How to: Stand up straight, dumbbell in each hand, palms facing up. Balance on the left leg, knee slightly bent, and place your right foot on your left thigh, just above the knee, making a “figure four” with your legs (a). Engaging your core to maintain balance, curl the weights up to shoulder height. Then, using control, lower the weights again until your arms are nearly straight (b). Complete reps,

    then switch legs for your next set.

    Arm Workout: Superman Punches

    4. Superman Punches
    Targets: Back, core, shoulders
    How to: Get into a push-up position on the floor, gripping a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inwards. Make sure your back is straight and your core is engaged (a). Lift the dumbbell in your right hand, performing a rowing motion, keeping your elbow pinned to your side. When your arm is at a 90-degree angle, punch forward with your right hand. Keep your hips square and avoid rocking to one side or the other (b). Lower the arm, planting your hand (still holding the dumbbell) directly under the right shoulder where you started (c). Switch sides.

    RELATED: 5 Plyo Box Exercises to Rev Your Fitness

    Arm Workout: Caterpillar Push-Ups

    5. Caterpillar Push-Ups
    Targets: Chest, shoulders, core, quads
    How to: Position your feet on top of a plyo box, hands on the floor just in front of the box, knees bent. Slowly walk your hands out until you are in a decline push-up position (a). Perform one push-up (learn how to pull it off with perfect form here), then slowly crawl your hands back, until your knees are bent and hands are just in front of the box (b). Repeat. Beginners can perform this move with their feet on a floor, instead of on a box. Or, for further modification, perform with knees on the floor.

    For even more body-sculpting moves, try DailyBurn free for 30 days at DailyBurn.com.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

    The post 5 Easy Moves for an Awesome 30-Minute Arm Workout appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn Pilates Phase Two: Your New Ab Workout

    Pilates Workout for Abs
    If you’ve worked your way through DailyBurn Pilates Phase One and you’re craving something new, get ready for your next #AbChallenge! With Phase Two of DailyBurn Pilates, you’ll take your core workouts to the next level with longer, more intense sessions.

    “In Phase Two, we pick up the pace with the routines,” says DailyBurn Pilates instructor Andrea Speir. “We’re working with the same style of movements, and a lot of the same exercises, but they’re more advanced and faster.”

    Don’t worry, you’ll still be practicing The 100 and the Single-Leg Teaser you learned in Phase One. “But we also add in new exercises to up the intensity and the results at the end,” Speir says. The biggest difference: There are no breaks between the moves. It might sound tough — but your new ab muscles will be worth the sweat.

    You can start the 16-day Pilates Phase Two program as soon as you’re done with Phase One to continue building your “powerhouse,” or core strength. The seven-day-a-week program intersperses challenging 25- to 30-minute workouts with gentler ‘Stretch Flow’ sessions. These are meant to give your body a rest, while opening and lengthening your hips, pelvis and spine to increase flexibility and circulation.

    3 Pilates Moves to Try Now

    Want a sneak preview of DailyBurn Pilates Phase Two? These three moves are a sampling of the full workouts you’ll be doing soon. A Pilates Magic Circle can help add resistance to some of the moves. If you don’t own one, don’t sweat it — each move in Pilates Phase Two can be done equipment-free, too.

    [caption id="attachment_40670" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Phase II: Your New Ab Workout GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Wind Down
    How to: Sit in the center of your mat, knees bent, feet hip-distance apart (a). Bend your elbows and make a fist with each hand. Stack fists on top of one another in front of your chest (b). Start circling your fists around each other (c). Inhale and curl your tailbone under, scooping the abdominals in, and roll down towards the mat. Stop before your back touches the mat (d). Exhale as you round back up, winding arms in the opposite direction. Repeat four more times.

    [caption id="attachment_40671" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Phase Two: Your New Ab Workout GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Tabletop Control
    How to: Sitting on the mat, position the Pilates Magic Circle between your legs, just above your anklebones (a). Lie on your back, knees drawn towards your chest. Stack your hands palm over palm, and place them behind your head (b). Curl up, squeezing the Pilates Magic Circle between your legs (c). Lower toes towards the mat (d). Scoop your abdominals in to lift your legs back up to your chest. Repeat 10 times.

    [caption id="attachment_40672" align="alignnone" width="620"]DailyBurn Pilates Phase Two: Your New Ab Workout GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Footwork
    How to: Lie in the center of your mat, and bring your knees into your chest (a). Curl your head and chest up. Stack hands palm over palm and place them directly behind the head (b). With heels together and toes pointed, turn your knees out, keeping them shoulder-distance apart (c). Send legs out to a high diagonal, at least 45 degrees from the ground, and hold (d). Bend knees back towards your ears. Repeat 10 times.

    For more Pilates workouts you can do anytime, anyplace, head to DailyBurn.com/Pilates.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

    The post DailyBurn Pilates Phase Two: Your New Ab Workout appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    Ultimate Pilates Workout

    [caption id="attachment_41020" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout Photo: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    If you’re sick of slogging through endless rounds of crunches at the gym, we don’t blame you. Ab workouts can be boring — but that’s where Pilates comes into play. Based on more than 600 exercises and variations, Pilates keeps ab work interesting while helping you sculpt a powerful core. And the benefits are more than just aesthetic. “I love every kind of physical fitness, but I will say Pilates is the only thing that gave me this kind of abdominal strength,” says DailyBurn Pilates instructor Andrea Speir.

    RELATED: 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Beginner Core Workout

    Try It Now: DailyBurn Pilates Core Flow

    This six-move core series makes for an intense workout, Speir says. Use a Pilates Magic Circle to add resistance to some of the exercises. Don’t own one? No problem. All you need is your mat. Perform these moves with no breaks in between — we dare you!

    [caption id="attachment_40670" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Wind Down
    How to: Sit in the center of your mat, knees bent, feet hip-distance apart (a). Bend your elbows and make a fist with each hand. Stack your fists on top of one another in front of your chest (b). Begin circling your fists around each other (c). Inhale and curl your tailbone under, scooping the abdominals in, and roll down towards the mat. Stop before touching the mat (d). Exhale as you round back up, winding arms in the opposite direction. Repeat four more times.

    [caption id="attachment_40690" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Frog-Circle Combo
    How to: Lie flat, holding your knees to your chest (a). Curl your head and neck off the floor, and stack your hands like a pillow behind your head (b). Heels together, toes apart, slide your legs out along the mat, hovering your feet just about the mat (c). Lift legs up to a high diagonal, about 45 degrees from the ground (d). Bend your knees in towards your ears, and then slide your legs out along the mat again, hovering feet a few inches off the ground. Repeat 16 times. Think about engaging the abdominals from the two inches below your navel, Speir says. That will help the lower abs really engage and control the movement.

    [caption id="attachment_40672" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Footwork
    How to: Lie directly in the center of the mat, and bring your knees into your chest (a). Curl your head and chest up. Gazing at your abdominals, stack hands palm over palm like a pillow and place them directly behind the head (b). With heels together and toes pointed, turn your knees out, keeping them shoulder-distance apart (c). Send legs out to a high diagonal, at least 45 degrees from the ground, and hold (d). Bend knees back towards your ears. Repeat 10 times.

    [caption id="attachment_40671" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Tabletop Control
    How to: Sitting on the mat, position the Pilates Magic Circle between your legs, just above the anklebone (a). Lie down on your back, knees drawn towards your chest. Stack your hands palm over palm, and place them behind your neck (b). Curl up, squeezing the Pilates Magic Circle between your legs (c). Lower your toes towards the mat (d). Without arching your back, scoop your abdominals in to lift your legs back up to your chest. Repeat 10 times.

    [caption id="attachment_40691" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Crunch Series
    How to: Lie on the mat, knees bent, feet together and planted on the floor. Stack your hands palm over palm, and place them behind your head (a). Drop your knees down to one side (b). Gazing at your navel, curl your body up slightly (the middle of your back should be on the ground at all times), keeping elbows wide, lifting from your core. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

    [caption id="attachment_40698" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

    Side Bend
    How to: Sit on your right hip, folding your right leg under your body and extending your left leg out to the side in a straight line (a). With your right hand placed on the ground next to your hip, bend the left knee slightly, pushing yourself up to balance on your right knee (b). Flex the foot of your left leg, pull your abs in and lift your right leg, placing it behind your left leg. (c). Place your left hand on your hip, then pulse your hip up two-inches and down two-inches, keeping you right arm straight. Repeat eight times. Switch sides.

    For more Pilates workouts you can do anytime, anyplace, head to DailyBurn.com/Pilates.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

    The post The Ultimate Pilates Ab Workout: 6 Must-Try Moves appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    DailyBurn Success Stories: Sean McKinley

    DailyBurn Success Stories: Sean McKinley

    Get inspired by these DailyBurn success stories, which showcase real people who committed to fitness and saw results that were way beyond average.

    Sean McKinley’s life-changing moment happened in the simplest of ways — while playing with his then four-year-old daughter. “We were running outside trying to fly a kite and I realized I couldn’t run around very well,” McKinley, 31, says. “Just realizing I had gotten to the point that I couldn’t run with my daughter anymore was a wake up call.”

    Though he’d struggled with his weight for years, McKinley says it was after high school that he really started to pack on pounds. Busy with work and family, light housework became his only form of exercise in his otherwise sedentary lifestyle. By his late 20s, the 6’ 2” systems administrator weighed 320 pounds.

    RELATED: DailyBurn True Beginner: Starting Over With Fitness

    It’s not that McKinley didn’t try to lose weight — he just never found a program that felt sustainable. “Through work, there’d be [corporate] weight loss challenges and I could easily drop 30 pounds by trying a little,” McKinley says. “But I’d gain it right back because I wasn’t making the lifestyle changes.”

    While he wasn’t a fast food guy, he ate a lot of processed foods and dined out at restaurants often. “I’d have a soda, an appetizer, a meal and then dessert, and I’d have ice cream almost three times a week,” he recalls. Controlling his portions was also a problem — as was resisting the donuts from the popular bakery in his town.

    RELATED: 5 Ways to Avoid the Portion Distortion That’s Wrecking Your Diet

    Starting as a True Beginner

    “It’s like a badge of honor when you check out to have only three items that aren’t produce.”

    Soon after realizing he needed to make a change, McKinley saw a commercial for DailyBurn on Hulu. He signed up for a free 30-day trial and decided to start with the True Beginner program. After being inactive for so long, his first workout was a challenge — but he felt good about it afterwards. “I was happy with myself that I was successful in doing it and [that] it was actually a workout I could do.”

    Modifications were McKinley’s saving grace in the beginning. “For one of the stretches you could use a towel to reach your hands behind your back,” he recalls. He also relied on a chair to help him keep his balance.

    RELATED: True Beginner: A New Exercise Program, No Intimidation

    Knowing he had to make more permanent changes this time around, McKinley also started making minor tweaks to his eating habits. “I slowly started incorporating more vegetables and fruit into my diet,” he says. There would be no crash dieting this time. “It was definitely a slow process.” While enacting these small changes, McKinley completed a few rounds of the eight-week True Beginner program. Once he was 40 pounds down, he was ready to push himself further.

    Taking His Fitness to the Next Level

    With a lot of weight still left to lose, McKinley decided to take on a tougher workout. He chose Cardio Sculpt. “All of those trainers did a great job making sure you push yourself, but [let you know] it isn’t a bad thing if you’re starting out at level one.” Now that he was challenging himself in his workouts, he decided to make more [dramatic] dietary changes, too.

    McKinley started doing the grocery shopping for his family, and made sure to stock his cart with lots of whole foods. “We used to purchase a lot of processed food and now my cart is probably 90 percent produce when I leave,” McKinley says. “It’s a badge of honor when you check out to have only like three items that aren’t produce.”

    RELATED: Denied Insurance, My Motivation to Lose 80 Pounds

    "I did slow diet changes and also a slow exercise progression...or I would have burned out and given up."

    Managing his portion sizes became a big priority, too. “[My wife and I] used to have a New York strip steak each, but now we split one in half and eat it,” McKinley says. “…Before, if I was having hamburgers, I’d have two hamburgers if I was hungry, but now I’ll just have twice as many vegetables.”

    Choosing broccoli over burgers paid off — and McKinley was seeing big results on the scale. “I was getting a lot of comments wherever I’d go on how much better I looked. The peer support definitely helped.” Eventually, he moved on to DailyBurn’s Tactical Bodyweight Training program. “It was really tough when I first switched, but I worked my way up,” he says.

    Maintaining Major Weight Loss

    Fifteen months after starting DailyBurn and changing his diet, McKinley is more than 100 pounds lighter, weighing in between 210 and 215 pounds. He’s still doing DailyBurn workouts to stay toned and maintain his new weight, but he feels happy about his body. Best of all, he can keep up with his daughter and younger son. “I’m running around outside with her; we dance around.” McKinley says.

    RELATED: How a DailyBurn Challenge Changed My Life

    He was also finally able to escape his cycle of yo-yo dieting and make changes that he felt could last long-term. “A lot of people try to jump into it all at once and say they are going to do all this to see change quickly,” McKinley says. “For me, I did slow diet changes and also a slow exercise progression. I think that’s what allowed me to continue or I would have burned out and given up on myself a long time ago.”

    To learn more about DailyBurn or to try a free 30-day trial yourself, click here.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week. For those seeking to lose weight, keep in mind that extreme weight loss can be harmful to your health if done improperly or too suddenly. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program.

    The post How This Man Lost 100 Pounds, One Small Change at a Time appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core

    [caption id="attachment_42819" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    This workout comes to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Angela Rubin. You can find more no-equipment moves from DailyBurn’s elite trainers at DailyBurn.com.

    When was the last time you used a stability ball at the gym? Sure, shiny new gadgets and machinery might look fun, but some machines can be more trouble than they’re worth. (We’re looking at you, seated crunch machine!)

    RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

    The 90s called, and reminded us that the humble stability ball is actually an incredibly effective way to sculpt your way to a stronger core. Research shows that by performing basic moves like crunches on an unstable surface, you’ll increase muscle activity when compared to standard crunches. Talk about more bang for your buck!

    But there’s plenty more where that came from — the Swiss ball is incredibly versatile. From planks to squats to glute bridges performed on the ball, you can work your midsection while challenging other important muscle groups.

    Before going balls-to-the-wall, though, you’ll want to pick out the right size for you, says DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Angela Rubin, ISSA personal trainer and USAT Level 1 triathlon coach. Your legs should make a 90-degree angle when you sit on the ball with your feet flat on the ground. (So, go bigger or smaller as necessary.)

    5 Stability Ball Exercises to Target Your Core

    It’s no bouncy castle, but we guarantee you’ll come around to these five core moves from Rubin. Warm up your body with a minute of jumping jacks or jogging in place, then follow the GIFs below for a low-impact, beginner-friendly workout that will still challenge you in all the right ways.

    Stability Ball Crunches

    1. Stability Ball Crunches
    How does the humble ball up the ante on the old standard? Doing a controlled crunch on this unstable surface boosts activation of the abdominals more than regular crunches, says Rubin.
    How to: Sit on the stability ball and walk your feet forward so your shoulders, neck and thighs are parallel to the floor. With your neck relaxed, place your hands behind your head (a). Engage your core and lift your shoulder blades off the ball, pausing once your body reaches a 45-degree angle. Keep your gaze towards the sky or ceiling so you don’t put too much pressure on your neck (b). Pause, then gently lower your upper body back down. This movement isn’t about speed so the slower, the better (c). Repeat 10 times.

    Stability Ball Y-T Extensions

    2. Stability Ball Y-T Extensions
    Tone your shoulders and core in one fell swoop by taking a cue from the alphabet and making “Y” and “T”s with your arms. By performing this move on a stability ball, you’ll work on range of motion more so than if you performed these laying on the floor, says Rubin.
    How to: Lay your chest on a stability ball, with your legs extended straight behind you. Tuck your toes under your feet. Your body should be in a plank position and your head, a neutral position (a). Keep your core, glutes and back engaged, and have your arms hanging down from your shoulders but not touching the ground or the ball. Now raise your arms up and extend straight overhead, so your body makes a “Y”. Lower your arms (b). Next, raise your arms so they are extending straight out from your sides, so your body makes a “T.” Lower your arms (c). Repeat each letter 10 times.

    RELATED: No Equipment? Try Cardio Sculpt on DailyBurn.com, Free for 30 Days

    Stability Ball Roll-Out

    3. Stability Ball Roll-Outs
    Using an exercise ball for roll-outs can help engage smaller core muscles than traditional forms of exercise, says Rubin. Plus, we’d be lying if we said this wasn’t super challenging for those hamstrings, too.
    How to: Start by kneeling on the ground with your toes tucked underneath your feet. The stability ball should be in front of you. Place your forearms on the ball so your arm makes a 90-degree angle (a). Push off from your toes and roll yourself forward, so you balanced on the ball in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels (b). Hold for one second, then bend your knees and slowly roll back to the original position (c). Repeat 10 times.

    Stability Ball Glute Bridge

    4. Stability Ball Glute Bridges
    With your lower back balanced on the ball, you’ll need a stable core to perform this move, says Rubin. It packs a one-two punch by targeting your glutes and your core abs.
    How to: Sit on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet forward and roll your back onto the ball so your shoulders and upper back are supported by the ball (a). Squeeze and lift your glutes off the floor. Your shoulders and back should still be resting on the ball while you hold for two seconds (b). Drop your hips to the floor, then squeeze and lift your glutes again (c). Repeat 10 times.

    Stability Ball Squat

    5. Stability Ball Squats
    Drop it like a squat and you’ll work your quads, glutes and core. Rubin says that using the stability ball can help maintain proper form while also supporting your lower back.
    How to: Stand with a stability ball in between a wall and your lower back. You should be facing away from the wall, standing tall with your shoulder blades pulled back. Lean against the ball and make sure your weight is in your heels (a). With your hands placed on your hips, slowly lower into a squat position until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and thighs are parallel to the ground (b). Next, squeeze your glutes, and engage your quads, hamstrings and core as you drive through your heels to standing (c). Repeat 10 times.

    Want more beginner-friendly workouts? To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

    The post 5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.


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    4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

    [caption id="attachment_43002" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do Anywhere Photo: Pond5[/caption]

    This workout comes to you from DailyBurn trainer Justin Rubin. You can find more no-equipment moves in his True Beginner program at DailyBurn.com.

    Drop it like it’s hot? How about drop it like a squat? If you usually shy away from lower body exercises in favor of above the belt training, it’s time to wise up. Whether or not weight loss is your goal, you’ll get serious pay-off by training your lower half. Your quads, hamstrings and glutes are home to some of the biggest muscles in your body, and those muscles will torch calories both during and after your workout, thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), the process by which your body replenishes its oxygen stores.

    Plus, working your lower body will pay off in about a million different ways. “Lower body strength, much like your core, is a foundation for all fitness,” says Justin Rubin, DailyBurn trainer for True Beginner. Challenging your legs and glutes will translate to better balance, strength and agility — all of which are important for day-to-day activities like racing up the stairs (without burning thighs) or even getting low on the dance floor.

    RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day

    Best of all, you don’t even need a pimped-out gym to get started. We asked Rubin to demonstrate four beginner-friendly moves that can be done pretty much anywhere. (Translation: No equipment required!) For a solid workout, repeat each exercise for one minute, doing as many reps as possible. Then recover for 30 seconds. Complete five rounds and you’ll start to feel the burn! If you want an extra challenge, try the optional towel modifications listed below each description to engage your upper body as well.

    4 No-Equipment Lower Body Exercises

    Lower Body Exercises: Back Lunges
    1. Reverse Lunges
    Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core

    How to: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Shift your weight onto your left leg and step your right leg straight behind you (b). Lower directly downwards until your front and back knees are at 90-degree angles. Hold for one second (c). Next, engage your left thigh and push off your right leg, coming back to a neutral, standing position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for a minute.

    Extra credit: Hold a towel taut between your hands. When you step back for a lunge, twist your upper body in the opposite direction of your back leg. (Example: Twist to the left when you step back with your right leg.)

    RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

    Lower Body Exercises: Squats
    2. Squats
    Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings

    How to: Begin with your feet under your hips, legs no wider than your shoulders. Your bodyweight should be in your heels and your arms should be relaxed by your sides (a). Keeping your chest upright and your shoulder blades pulled back, bend your knees and sink down, making sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes. Your arms should extend straight in front of you. Imagine you are touching your butt to a chair (b). Now, drive through your legs and squeeze your glutes to stand back up, letting your arms come down to your sides again (c). Repeat for one minute.

    Extra credit: Hold a towel taut between your hands. As you squat down, bring your arms overhead, so your face is in between your biceps. When you drive upwards to stand back up, slowly let your arms come back to your sides. 

    Lower Body Exercises: Side Lunge
    3. 
    Side Lunges
    Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core

    How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Take a wide step to the left, letting your left foot point diagonally away from you and keeping your right foot planted (b). Keeping your weight in your heels and your chest lifted upwards, turn your left foot and knee out slightly as you sink down into a lunge. Make sure your knees do not come over your toes (c). Next, push off with your left leg, engaging your inner thighs and glutes, and bring the leg back to the neutral starting position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for a minute.

    Extra credit: Want to engage the muscles in your arms? Hold a towel taut between your hands, with your arms extended straight upwards. When you step to one side for a lunge, bring your arms down so the towel touches your outer thigh. Bring your arms upwards as you step in.

    RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

    Lower Body Exercises: Curtsy Lunge
    4. Curtsy Lunges
    Targets: Glutes, quads, inner thighs

    How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Shift your weight to your right side and step your left leg behind your right leg so your legs are crossed. If you imagine a clock underneath you, your left toes should be at roughly 4 o’clock (b). Bend both knees, not letting them come over your toes, and sink into the lunge, keeping your chest upright (c). Engage your quads and squeeze your glutes as you drive off your left leg, standing up and bringing it back to the starting position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for one minute.

    Extra credit: When standing upright, hold the towel taut in front of your chest. As you step to each side for the curtsy lunge, extend your arms and bring them down so the towel is in front of your shin. Be sure to maintain good upper body posture. Once you drive off your back leg, bring your arms and towel back to your chest.

    To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

    Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

    The post 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do In Front of Your TV appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.