Summer: “Getting Beach Ready”

The weather is heating up! It’s bikini time…aka time to get in shape! There is a lot of pressure to be “thin,” from the media, especially living in Los Angeles and Hollywood – “the movie capital of the world!” However, many people that are “rail thin,” might also be nutrient deficient or lack muscle mass.

Healthy strong muscles give shape to your body (which is a good thing)! People who maintain muscle mass while losing weight look and feel better. Muscle tissue allows for proper movement and contraction of muscles, and stabilizes the body in motion. When muscle mass declines, strength, stability and mobility suffer. The scale is the most commonly used device to measure weight, however it doesn’t take into account muscle mass or bone density, therefore it is not the best indicator of overall health.

You don’t need an expensive gym to get into shape. I train many of my clients using resistance bands, a core medicine ball or stability ball, free weights, jump rope and a foam roller! Exercises that use your own body weight can also be a challenge and enhance your balance. Small muscle groups are important to help stabilize your large muscle groups.

 Here are a few pieces of “workout equipment” that I recommend you buy for an “at home or outdoor” workout:

Resistance Bands:

These bands are great because you can work almost every muscle in your body. When using these, there is a great free range of motion and variable speed of movement. You can hook them to a door nob or pole or handle and target specific muscle groups, or perform total body exercises (i.e. squat to overhead press or squat to row). You can also choose the weight of the band, which will address the difficulty using it (i.e. 5 10, 15, 20 lbs., etc.)

Core Medicine Ball:

Core exercises are my favorite! Core strength is very important because it is your center of gravity and all movement stems from there, which supports your spine and aids with balance. Most sports and physical activity in general require strong core muscles. I know that just 200 sit ups a day (working all sides of your abdominals) helped enhance my endurance and running speed. Give it a try!

Stability Ball:

Oftentimes used in Pilates and Yoga, the stability ball is also a great way to tone your abdominal muscles and core! It is more focused on improving the stability of your spine and reducing the risk of back pain or alleviating the pain!

Free weights (dumbbells):

Free weights are versatile and target your large muscle groups (some of your small ones as well). They provide essentially the same benefit as the resistance band, but in a different form. You can choose to do heavy weights and less reps or light weights and more reps for more of a “cardio burn and toning effect.” Dumbbell squats are one of my favorite exercises to do at home or at the park.

Jump Rope:

Always a great warm up and way to get your heart rate up and muscles loose. Check the rope length before use and if it’s too long, wrap the rope around each hand once and hold handles tightly while jumping so you don’t trip on the rope. Challenge yourself to a “jump rope routine” (i.e. 100 jump’s and then 20 push up’s and repeat this 3 times, or double jump’s, etc.).

See, I know how to make exercise FUN! Nike, “JUST DO IT”!

Foam Roll:

Rolling on the foam roller is a must! If you’re an athlete, you know what I’m talking about! It helps to keep your muscles stretched and lose to prevent injury. The top 5 muscle groups to foam roll are: the gastrocnemius/soleus (mid calves), TFL/IT band (hip joint to lateral knee), adductors (inside upper thigh), piriformis (posterior hip region- most often overused by runner’s and least stretched), latissimus dorsi (under arm). The Stick is also a great way to stretch your muscles using trigger point therapy! Both products “get the job done right!”

I love (and believe) in the motto “sweat once a day” (Lululemon). It’s so great for your health, not only for your body, but more importantly for your mind.

To schedule a personal training session or to get a customized fitness plan that you can do in your OWN HOME, sign up for an appointment HERE.

Contact Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer (NASM) and Founder of Nutrition For Body and Mind HERE.