Wednesday, November 28, 2018

WOD Wednesday #93

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 strict knees-to-elbows
3 wall walks



ScalingThis workout will quickly become tedious and uncomfortable. Each set of movements should be challenging but doable, forcing you to manage muscular failure in order to maintain a decent pace.

Intermediate OptionComplete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
7 strict knees-to-elbows
2 wall walks

Beginner OptionComplete as many rounds as possible in 15minutes of:
10 hanging knee-raises
50-ft. bear crawl

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Product Review: Black Mountain Products 20lb Slam/Wall Ball

Product Details:
Black Mountain Products Slam/Wall Ball is a great addition to any workout program. Its soft outer shell makes for comfortable and easy throwing and catching. The design of the exercise ball allows it to maintain shape and balance of the weight for a uniform strength training or cardio workout at any intensity. Soft slam balls range in weight from 4lbs to 25lbs to accommodate anyone from the beginner to an expert in fitness. This is the perfect workout tool for abdominal training and building endurance.
-Synthetic leather shell maintains durability even with regular use
-All medicine balls measure 14” in diameter
-Maintains a uniform shape and weight balance at all intensity workouts
-Slam Balls range in weight from 4lbs, 8lbs, 12lbs, 20lbs, and 25lbs
-Lifetime warranty on all Fitness Slam Balls   >>> MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE! SLAM AWAY!
My Review:
Medicine ball training is one of the easier ways to improve your endurance, explosiveness, and core strength. Use them for anything from wall ball throws to traditional trunk twists, squats, sit-ups, presses, ball slams and more. BMP Medballs have been battle tested and they've really earned their keep in the day-to-day grind from home gyms to commercial gyms with their life time warranty.

Whether you are using our medicine balls for traditional movements such as wallballs and abdominal resistant work, or feel like blowing off some steam with some slams, I trust the BMP Medballs to withstand any workout you put them through.  The interior filling is substantial enough to help the ball keep its shape over repeated use, but forgiving enough for athletes to safely stop or catch the ball at high velocity.

This medicine ball quality is exceptional, I have used and purchased competitors as well and this one is far superior. Medicine ball is balanced well, has great gripping surface and even warrantied for slamming.  Excellent grip, even when the sweat is pouring. Definitely worth the money, especially compared to competitive brands. The difference, compared to other brands, seems to be in the "catch" for wall balls. The BMP Ball seems more balanced.

Exercises You Can Do With a Medicine Ball
There is a lot you can do with a Medicine Ball. Not only can it be used to build strength but it is also great for perfecting squatting technique, also known as squat therapy:

  • Wall Balls
  • Lunge with Twist or Overhead Press
  • Squat Press
  • Rolling Push-Up
  • Shoulder Press
  • Figure 8
  • V-Up
  • Overhead Slam
  • Use to learn how to clean
  • Use to teach squat and get more comfortable with your squat depth.
  • So much more...
My Rating: 9.5
Does not get better than BMP, their superior quality and attention to their customers. I look forward to purchasing more equipment from them in the future.  The rating is based on the quality I have experienced these past 30 days but also I know if I ever have a problem in the future I will be taken care of!

Order your own Black Mountain Products Fitness Slam Ball for Strength and Endurance Training, 20 lb (click the link) on AMAZON for $33.20!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Product Review: TRATAC Active Roll

Product Details:
With different intensities of vibration, Tratac Active Roll is a piece of equipment that offers the benefits of a sports massage while improving a person’s stretch, balance and core muscle strength – whether in the gym, at home or at a rehabilitation clinic. The specially grooved surface of cross stripes in-creases blood circulation by stimulating the area being massaged. The expanded polypropylene is a durable, light and recyclable plastic foam material with excellent energy absorption. 

ACTIVE ROLL INCLUDES
       -Active Roll
       -Workout CD
       -Workout Manual
       -Carry Bag
       -Adapter 

Different features of Active roll vs other foam rollers. 1. Vibration helps A LOT for whom they can’t pose and roll properly because it massages the body just by touching it. 2. Newest core structure – built in a FAN to air out the temperature that motor creates to keep motor in a good environment when it’s working in such high frequency. 3. Active Roll can work in LOW rpm without any noise problem when other competitive products struggle. 4. Active Roll Uses a smaller motor that only requires 2 cell batteries when others need 4. It uses a smaller motor but this makes the roller not only lighter but also easier to carry around and still provides the same vibration quality with others or even stronger.
TRATAC ACTIVE ROLL - High Intensity Vibration Foam Roller - New generation of Vibration (Black)

My Review:
 It is like having 3 devices in one: a foam roller, a TENS unit, and a massager. The "foam" part is made of a hard rubber, not as hard as a car tire, but not soft either. A regular foam roller when they first came out, was smooth and made of a hard foam. So it basically had one major use for it. The grid-like areas help get into those tough spots to address trigger points, depending on how you position your body over it.

This foam roller not only allows you to address trigger points from a wide spread area, but also more concentrated areas because of the pattern of the grid.

There are 4 levels of vibration on this roller.  The vibrational frequencies are at 20-80 Hz. My body personally feels the best using Levels 1 & 2 and this for me seems to stimulate healing quicker. All  of these frequencies is what you would find with an average TENS unit.  A TENS unit helps stimulate endorphin and seratonin production, which help with pain relief, healing, making you feel better overall.

Level 1 - 2 seems to help me more with chronic pain.
Level 3 seems to help with muscle stimulation
Level 4 seems to help with acute pain.

How am I using it now? I use it after my workouts/exercise (weightlifting, cardio, HIIT, walking, karate, resistance band training, KB training, etc) on my whole body - quads, hams, glutes, hips, chest, stomach, IT bands, calves, shins, heels, feet, all over back, lats, tris, bis, forearms, behind knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders, traps. The only areas I wouldn't really use are the neck and head because I have some motion sickness issues and even at the lowest level, it made me feel sick.

You can roll it with the vibration or you can roll without vibration or you can have it stationary. I found it's most effective AFTER a workout while your muscles are warmed up, but it's also good if you use without doing a workout.

I am also using the Active Roller to help me with mobility type exercises and I think it's a great tool for that. Rather than having to buy several tools that could easily cost a few hundred, all this is wrapped up in this roller and it's great. Though the price of the Hyperice Vyper has come down, because of the reviews I read on that with often not having great customer service, I went with the Active Roller because sometimes things do go wrong and you want the company to be positively responsive to address the issue.

The Active Roller also holds a charge for quite some time. I've only had to charge it a few times since I've gotten it and maybe the average use of it per day is about 15 minutes. I haven't tried to see how long it will go before it doesn't work and I have to recharge. I believe since I charged it, it was about 7-8 days ago.

 Physical impressions of the device: It is solidly built.  If you set it on the floor or carpet the thing will "crawl" around--pretty neat. I rolled this thing between my shoulder blades with my whole body on it and my feet, and it didn't flinch. I'm seriously impressed now. I then did the soles of my feet, putting heavy weight to keep it from vibrating away, then my whole body.  For each area I had to roll up, down, up, down, over and over again. The time and discomfort are why I hate foam rolling, no matter how much it serves to protect me from injury. With this jewel, I was able to hit EVERY spot with practically no pain or discomfort. My typical pain spots were....NOT!!!! All I could think of is that the vibration, along with doing what vibration does to the muscles, fascia, and neuroreceptors, also effectively overwhelmed the pain sensing nerves (nociceptors). This kind of overwhelming the sensory input so that pain is dampened or erased is exactly how TENS units work. 

So I say again: Rolling with the Active Roller was PAIN-FREE, and took only one pass for each area. To test if the rolling actually worked because I'm so conditioned to expect nothing without pain, I just rolled myself on my regular roller, and lo and behold, I had almost no tender spots left. And by tender, I mean hypertonic, hypersensitive areas of muscle that are pathological (not good). I am so very sold on this device, and am looking to see if there is any formal research coming out. Current research (Brunetti et atl, 2006) has shown dramatic and long lasting improvements in strength and balance, both often severely compromised after surgery, from local application of 100 Hz vibration for 10-15 minutes after surgery. This device is clearly lower in frequency, and probably less effective as a sensorimotor / proprioceptive activation device, but its frequency definitely covers that of the pain sensors based on my experience.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Product Review: Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer

Product Details:
The Titan Fitness balance ball trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups including your core muscles, back muscles, legs, and abs. By adding an element of instability it forces your body to use more muscles from your core so you no longer have to rely on crunches or sit ups for your abs workout. The resistance tubes attach directly to the base for other body weight resistance exercises and add an extra dimension to your standard work out. Perfect for physical therapy and recovery exercises.

Features:

- Light weight and easy to carry
- Pump is included
- Rubber resistance trainers included
- Durable burst free material
- Skid free / mark free base

Specifications:
- Diameter: 23.5"
- Height: 10.5"
- Resistance tubes: 23"
- Capacity: 350 lb
- Weight: 17 lb




My Review:
The Titan Fitness Balance Trainer targets the core muscles of your body helping you to not only gain strength, trim and tone, but to strengthen the entire body and improve balance. The Balance Trainer delivers an ever-changing dynamic surface that you can stand on, jump on, kneel on, and lay on, to perform exercises to train and challenge every part of your body. The Balance Trainer helps to increase body strength and improve balance, coordination and body awareness which means overall improved fitness and fewer injuries. Because this piece of equipment is impossible to master, it means endless exercise options as strength and ability increase. And, because of its small size and weight it makes a great addition to any home gym and fits easily into any fitness program
.
Appropriate for everyone from elite athletes to kids to weekend warriors trying to stay in shape, the balance trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups, including the muscles you don't see. It targets your core muscles--the muscles around your abdominal and back area--while you perform a host of different workouts, from squats and bicep curls to lateral shoulder raises and hip extensions. As a result, you not only gain strength, trim, and tone, but also improve your balance and coordination along the way.

In addition, balance training helps strengthen the mind, with thoughtful movement that requires the participant to not only be physically involved, but also "here and present" with the mind fully engaged. By combining physical and mental focus, balance training will boost your performance across a wide continuum of activities, including sports, recreation, and daily tasks.

What the Titan Balance Trainer will do for you:
  • BUILD BALANCE & STABILITY: This balance trainer is made for all fitness levels, and all ages to be used for; rehabilitation, physical therapy, strengthening your base, improving balance and hip strength, and to be incorporated into high-intensity cardio routines for the fitness buff. This is the perfect addition to your home gym, portable for on-the-go fitness or a great addition to rehab offices or gyms.
  • SAFE & SLIP RESISTANT: The slip resistant material will allow you to safely stand, jump, kneel, or lay on this balance trainer, for a worry free workout. Resist falls, improve your coordination and avoid muscle atrophy by using this for simple, easy balance training to build your core strength and stability.
  • USE BOTH SIDES FOR A COMPLETE WORKOUT: This balance trainer is designed to be useful on both sides for a thorough training routine. Use the half ball with the flat side down to stand on for simple balance building, using a basic stance, or push steps. Advance your routine by doing squats, lunges, or using for crunches. Take it even further by flipping the trainer over and using for planks or burpees.
  • RESISTANCE BANDS & PUMP INCLUDED: Crush your workout goals and complete your whole body workout with the free clip-on resistance bands. The balance trainer with the bands is the ultimate package; tone and strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and abs. Our dual action hand pump allows you to quickly and effortlessly pump your trainer up and begin your balance training
  • FINE TUNE SPORTS SKILL- Incorporate this piece of equipment when doing plyometric drills to improve both speed and power. It  helps to exert maximum force for short intervals for improvement in sports like tennis, football, basketball and skiing.

In Conclusion:
You can do various balancing exercise to strengthen the core. With the bands and the balance ball, you work out your whole body. The bands are removable so that makes the balance ball trainer versatile if you want to flip it over and use it that way (although it's not recommended for safety reasons, I still like to plank with it and do body squats using the backside). 

 As a physical therapist, the Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer is one of my favorite balance training tools. There are so many uses for it, and I often use it for arm/shoulder stabilization exercises as well. I also have found that they rarely require the addition of more air, so they are low maintenance pieces of equipment.

Order your Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer today:  https://www.titan.fitness/blue-balance-ball-trainer.html

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WOD Wednesday #92

Five rounds of:
20 GHD Sit-ups
5 Push jerk



There's the beauty of this WOD. YOU choose the weight for the Push Press. Are you really strong? Got some experience with Oly lifts? Verrrry cool. Pick a big number. It looks like the target time for this WOD, the time domain we are aiming for is 10:00. Pick a weight that will put you in that range.

Sticking with movement 2, what is a Push Jerk? We have three foundational overhead lifts, the Press, the Push Press, and the Push Jerk. Well now, any guesses where you might find a video or two on the difference? YES! The "Youtube". The Push Jerk begins with the weight, whatever you have chosen, in the rack position, across your upper chest and anterior delts. The first move is a DIP, a bend in the knees, followed by an explosive DRIVE or your legs, arms, and explosive opening of your hips. In mid-drive there is a second DIP as you complete the overhead move by "catching" the weight above in a 1/4 squat. Stand up with the weight overhead. One. Do five.

20 GHD sit-ups. Glute Ham Developer. A devious device, that. Have you used one before? Do you regularly and routinely do GHD sit-ups as part of your warm-up? Of COURSE you haven't! Of COURSE you don't! Heck, anybody who is here who doesn't regularly and routinely practice GHD sit-ups SHOULD NOT DO GHD SIT-UPS in this WOD.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Start Your Day - Bulletproof Coffee

Recipe:
  • 1.5 - 2 Cups of Coffee
  • 1 TBS of Grass Fed Unsalted Butter
  • 1 TBS Organic Coconut Oil (refined or unrefined depending on your preference for the coconut taste)
  • Pinch of Cinnamon

Bulletproof Coffee is not your average latte.

It’s a high-performance drink that has a massive impact on your energy and cognitive function. Bulletproof Coffee has helped everyone from driven CEOs to professional athletes to busy parents increase their energy so they can do more of what fulfills them.

Drink Bulletproof Coffee instead of eating breakfast
Starting your day with cereal, granola, oatmeal, toast, fruit, or another carb-heavy breakfast staple spikes your blood sugar. You’ll get a quick burst of energy, but by mid-morning your blood sugar will crash, and you’ll be hungry, tired, and unfocused.

Starting your day with Bulletproof Coffee, on the other hand, gives you three things:
Suppressed hunger. Brain Octane Oil balances ghrelin and CCK, your hunger hormones, keeping you full until lunch.

Steady lasting energy. The saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters, either.
Mental clarity. Brain Octane rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you can literally feel your brain turning on.

Ditch the carb-heavy breakfast. Start your day with fat for fuel. You’ll be sharp and alert straight through until lunch.

Original article can be found here:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Product Review: Stealth Core Trainer

Product Details:
PLAY GAMES on your smartphone by using your Abs. The Stealth app is free and plays on both Android and iOS smartphones.

THE WORLDS FIRST interactive core trainer. Stealth takes one of the most basic training exercises, the plank, and turns it into a full-on gaming experience.

GET A STRONG CORE AND A HEALTHY BACK in under 3 minutes a day. Stealth uses your core strength to control the action on your mobile phone screen, making static exercises like the plank more engaging — for your muscles and your brain.

NEVER DO BORING PLANKS AGAIN. No more sit ups or crunches either! Stealth’s Interactive Core Trainer makes core planking workouts fun and exciting by integrating mobile gaming.


FEATURES:
Dynamic 360° Motion
Supports up to 400 lb user
Antimicrobial support pad made from energy -return foam for ultimate comfort and easy maintenance
Self lubricating nylon base
Delrin® components - a space age polymer as strong as steel
Patented Fluidity Sphere for ultra smooth movement
100% manufactured and assembled by hand
Made in USA
One Year Warranty


My Review:Stealth is a simple but very clever fitness device and probably the best purchase I’ve made on Kickstarter. Stealth delivers an amazing workout. In just a few minutes you can exercise your abdomen, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and legs. Stealth has you dynamically plank, as compared to a static plank. It has you twist, bank, and tilt, while holding a plank position. This allows you to engage more muscles than you would in a static plank. You do this while playing a game on a phone app. Your score is posted and ranked by age and gender. It’s very addicting. I’ve already ordered a second on Amazon and have had friends purchase Stealth after trying mine. The criticism I might have is I wish the board was a little wider at the bottom. When doing the exercise, you go to fairly extreme angles and I find my elbows can slip off the board.

The first time I used it after 40 seconds, I started to sweat and could feel my abdominal muscles really struggling. I was SHOCKED how intense of a workout it really is.

I ordered the "Stealth" because the product seemed to be unique from several perspectives. I don't think anyone likes doing planks... I certainly dislike them. The Stealth takes the basic plank and modifies it into something more advanced by combining the planking position with different dynamic body movements. The application for your smartphone is brilliant! I would encourage anyone who doesn't have to board yet to download the Stealth Core Trainer app and get an idea of what it does.

Why does everything work together so well? When working out on the stealth, you're thinking about the game, not the pain. I've found myself using the Stealth every day since I received it and I've even noticed an increase in my score on the app in the 4 days I've had the product.

It’s well constructed and simple. No assembly. The app is free and I have had no issues with it thus far. Paired together they are a blast and you forget you are working your core until your weakest link gives out. I have used it every day, for as long as I could last, and in two weeks my core strength has noticeably improved. Better posture!  I'm looking forward to seeing other app developers make applications for the board and I would love to see other workout products that incorporate the same smartphone idea.

I'll finish by saying I would highly recommend this product to anyone, especially those who might not find themselves working out as much as they would like to. The Stealth is worth every penny.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jump Rope Cable Options - Buyers Guide

Maybe you jump rope for fun or simply for a casual workout. Maybe you compete at CrossFit or even at the National or World jump rope competitions.

The most important decision you’ll make when purchasing a jump rope is the type of cable you choose to go with it.

Handles are important, but using the correct type of cable makes all off the difference when jumping rope. This guide will help you pick the correct cable for different types of jumping and skill levels.

Ultra Thin Cable

Diameter: 1.2mm


Description: This is the newest and fastest of all cables on the market. When you first try the ultra thin cable you'll have a sensation that you're turning an invisible rope. The cable is very difficult to feel. However, the top jumpers in the world are using this cable to set speed and double under records (with much practice).


Pros:
Coated with PTFE material that provides superior impact and wear resistance
Low sliding friction
Turns with extreme ease

Cons:
Hard to feel the cable turning because of its low weight
Can fray at the ends of the cable
Wears quickly due to its thin coating
Expensive
Can kink
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Sharp learning curve to master control
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: Competitive athletes (CrossFit & Jump Rope) who need speed above all else.


Bare Cable


Diameter: 1/16” (1.59mm)

Description: This is the mostly widely used cable in speed and multiple under competitions around the world. The bare cable has been the mainstay for high level athletes at competitions for over a decade. As it turns, the cable has a very light and responsive feel. This is a very fast cable.

Pros
Turns with great ease
Inexpensive

Cons
Wears quickly due to lack of coating on the cable
Frays easily which can make it hard to work with.
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: CrossFit athletes and competitive speed jumpers.


Nylon Coated Cable


Diameter: 3/32” (2.38mm)

Description: Nylon coated cables are commonly seen being used by CrossFit athletes doing double unders. This cable is slower that the Ultra Thin and Bare Cables, but still is plenty fast. There is a greater "feel" to this cable when spinning the rope than that of the previous two cables, which leads to greater control and less misses. We need to make note that most companies coat this cable with PVC, which causes the cable to wear much faster. Look for nylon coated speed cable.

Pros
Excellent wear resistance on smooth surfaces (ie hardwood floors)
Turns with ease
Lots of color options
Fray resistant
Inexpensive

Cons
Can kink
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: Anyone already proficient in double unders


PVC Coated Cable


Diameter: 1/8” (3.18mm)

Description: The PVC coated cable is becoming extremely popular of late with freestyle jumpers and CrossFit athletes. Freestyle jumpers love this cable due to its quickness and ease of turning. Yet, the cable is flexible enough to easily do crossing and power moves. Athletes learning double unders find this cable super helpful because it turns quickly and has a good feel to it. This will decrease the double unders learning curve. We find many double under workshops are using this cable exclusively for teaching purposes. The PVC Coated Cable is also being used as the cable in speed double dutch competitions. In fact a Chinese team recently used a Speed Cable Double Dutch rope that uses this cable to set a new speed record with it.

Pros
Easy to feel the cable turn
Long lasting
Easy to do crossing and power moves

Cons
Can be a little too fast for Freestyle Jumpers
Can be a little to slow for double under athletes.

Recommended for: Learning double unders.


Outdoor Rated Cable



Diameter: 1/8” (3.18mm)

Description: We designed this tough cable for the athletes who have no other choice but
to jump rope on rough or outdoor surfaces. Any other type of cable will last only a very short time on outside surfaces. The Outdoor Cable has a super tough nylon coating, which makes it stiffer than the PVC coated 1/8” cable. It has the heaviest feel of all of our cable ropes.

Pros
Tough, long lasting coating
Heavy weight

Cons
Too stiff for crossing moves
Slower than all other cables


Recommended for: Double unders or speed jumping on outdoor or abrasive surfaces.


Blog Post Courtesy of ELITESRS