You Should Master These 6 Exercises Before the New Year (And Here's How)

The new year is almost upon you, and it's time to refine your foundational movements. Here are 6 exercises you need to perfect (and how) before you reinvent your routine on January 1st:

Personal Trainer Exercise: Squat Over Bench or Chair


Prompt: Feet straight and hip width, screw in the feet, draw in the belly button, hinge at the hips, tuck the chin (to create neutral spine)
Progression (15-20 reps):
-Knees in line with hips
-Knees in line with hips while holding 5 lb dumbbells
-Knees in line with hips while holding 10 lb dumbbells
-Knees in line with hips...away from the seat
-Knees in line with hips...away from the seat while holding 5 lb dumbbells
-Knees in line with hips...away from the seat while holding 10 lb dumbbells

Personal Trainer Exercise: Walking Lunge


Prompt: Feet straight and hip width, draw in the belly button, plant the front foot, screw in the foot, slight hinge at the hips, tuck the chin (to create neutral spine), feet together
Progression (15-20 reps):
-Drop 1 inch
-Drop 2 inches
-Drop 3 inches
-Reassess

Personal Trainer Exercise: Step Up


Prompt: Screw in one foot on the step (heel under the knee), draw in the belly button, slight hinge at the hips, tuck the chin (to create neutral spine), bring opposite knee forward
Progression (15-20 reps):
-6-inch step
-9-inch step
-12-inch step
-15-inch step
-18-inch step
-Reassess

Personal Trainer Exercise: Stairclimber


Prompt: Draw in the belly button, slight hinge at the hips, tuck the chin (to create neutral spine)
Progression (time):
-Increase your time by 30 seconds each week/1 minute higher level and then 1 minute lower level....alternate

Personal Trainer Exercise: Pulldown


Prompt: Feet straight with heels under knees, screw in the feet, shoulders above your hips, draw in the belly button, keep the bar straight across
Progression (15-20 reps):
-45 lbs
-52 lbs
-60 lbs
-Reassess

Personal Trainer Exercise: Dumbbell Curl (1 Arm at a Time)


Prompt: Feet straight and hip width, screw in the feet, draw in the belly button, hips under your shoulders, elbow tucked to your side
Progression (15-20 reps):
-8 lbs
-10 lbs
-12 lbs
-15 lbs
-Reassess

Photo Credit:
Livestrong.com–Are they properly performing a squat?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
You Should Master These 6 Exercises Before the New Year (And Here's How)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success" Review

When you’re ready to lose weight, you should start by examining your environment. How do you think it influences your eating behaviors? With this being said, it’s time to take a second look at the setup of your kitchen.

Have a set of measuring cups and spoons.


Using measuring tools helps you get a handle on what a portion looks like so you won't overeat. If my clients don't own these tools, I send them to the store after our first meeting to buy them! One set works — but if you're like me, you may find multiple sets useful. I like to keep tablespoons in containers of nuts and seeds to make healthy snacking a no-brainer.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: The best tip: Use measuring cups and spoons to scoop your food. Why guess the amount of food you need with a spoon or fork? There’s no better way to mindfully control your portions.

Place fruit on the counter.


Display those apples, pears, oranges, and bananas on the countertop. You can use a pretty fruit bowl, or you can repurpose a pie plate (that's what I do!). People who keep fruit on the countertop are more likely to have a lower BMI, a measure of body fat based on height and weight, according to a study published in Health Education and Behavior. When you want a snack, you'll be more likely to reach for the fruit because it's visible.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I’d prefer that you ate small meals instead of snacking. Nevertheless, you are certainly more likely to grab what’s most convenient in front of you (or accessible). I’d keep this in mind as you grocery shop.

Hide the sugary stuff.


Love chocolate? Can't stop yourself when the jelly beans are in plain sight? People who kept candy on their desk ate almost three times more candy than volunteers who hid candy containers in their desks — and close to six times more than people who had to walk a short distance to get to the candy — according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Use this strategy in your kitchen: Hide candy in the back of the pantry or freezer. Better yet, remove the treats from the house completely. If you want a cookie, go to the bakery and buy one so you're not tempted to eat an entire package!

Personal Trainer Wisdom: It isn’t hidden if you were the one hiding it. I like the idea of the extra step to reach the food, but I don’t believe this is the most effective tactic. I love Snickers bars. If I want it, I will get it even if it’s 20 steps away. If you truly want to challenge yourself, though, don’t buy the treat for your home and office and see if you’ll actually go to the store in your moment of desire.

Rearrange your pantry.


Make healthy food easier to get to by placing it in the front of a cabinet. In the Health Education and Behavior study, normal-weight people were more likely to store snack foods out of sight in a cupboard or a drawer and to place healthier foods in more visible places. Women who had soda and breakfast cereal on the countertop weighed more, as did men with candy visible on the counter..

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Similar to the “Fruit on the Counter” idea.

Have an emergency stash.


One of the first things I advise new clients is shopping for a supply of healthy food. Fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins are fantastic to have on hand. But if you're a few days late with this week's grocery run or you're just getting back from vacation, you'll want to dip into your emergency supply for a healthy meal. Store frozen veggies and fruit in the freezer and brown rice, quinoa, canned beans, nuts and seeds in the pantry.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most of my personal training clients get into the most trouble when the groceries run out. More likely than not, they grab what’s most available (and I’ve been guilty too). With the Amazon Fresh and Instacart grocery delivery services, I’ve been able to curb these habits. While paying $15-20 per week on the service may seem like an extra dent in your budget, it saves you money on eating out as well as creates time for more productive money-making tasks.

Photo Credit:
MSN.com–Do you think this kitchen setup will help you lose weight?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success on MSN.com (MSN News).
"How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.