If you think the treadmill is just for running and walking, think again! You can take a walk with your hands or put your mountain climbers on the moving belt for an entirely new challenge. Watch this video to learn unique moves from Equinox's popular Shred and Tread classes to strength train using the machine. We promise, you will never look at the treadmill the same way again.
Having good posture can really make you look 10 pounds thinner! If you spend hours hunched over a computer, you need to combat the inevitable slouch every chance you get. Try this variation on the reverse fly I learned from my Equinox trainer, Lauren; it's the perfect antidote to bad posture. It not only strengthens the upper back muscles (both the rhomboids and the middle part of the trapezius), it tones the back of the shoulder, too (aka posterior deltoid).
Grab an exercise band (or Thera-Band) and follow these steps. Modify the difficulty of this exercise by altering the amount of slack you have in the band before opening your arms: more slack will be easier, and a tighter band will offer more resistance.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping a slight bend in the knees. With straight arms, hold the exercise band in front of you with your hands slightly lower than your shoulders. Keep your elbows slightly soft to avoid hyperextending the joint.
- On an exhale, pull abs to spine to stabilize your torso as you open your arms out to the sides, focusing on the shoulder blades sliding together. Inhale as you slowly return your arms back to starting position.
- It's easy to arch your spine and push your ribcage forward when opening your arms, so really focus on the abs keeping the spine stable. Do imagine yourself growing taller as you open you arms to reinforce good posture.
- Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
The wood chop is a favorite exercise among trainers. In fact, it's celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson's favorite core exercise and is fast becoming one of ours, too. The wood chop really works the abs but targets the obliques, helping tone your muffin top. But unlike the static plank, the wood chop targets your middle while your middle is in motion, making this move a serious functional fitness maneuver. Grab a five- to 10-pound medicine ball, and get ready to learn the basics.
- Start with the feet a little wider than hip distance apart, keeping the knees slightly bent, and bring the medicine ball to your left shoulder.
- On an exhale, pull abs to spine, and "chop" the ball down diagonally across your body toward your right knee. Imagine you're chopping some wood at this angle and the ball is your axe — the move is a bit percussive.
- Focus on the rotation initiating in your torso.
- Control the ball back up to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Remember you are moving with force but control. Don't give in to the momentum of swinging the ball around. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side.
Affirmations. Vision Boards. Mantras. Crazy talk, right? Or so I thought before an especially grueling cycling class. Midway through class, our instructor, Equinox San Francisco's Caroline Jordan started chanting, "Stronger. Faster. Better," over and over again into her mic. I instantly found myself annoyed at her repetitive chanting, but as the intense intervals kept coming my way, I started to really hear what she was saying and found myself pushing through the proverbial wall like never before.
Fitness motivation isn't an easy commodity to come by, especially on days when the mind is riled by negative thoughts. Goals suddenly take a backseat, and before you know it, you've cut your workout short, slowed your run to a walk, or maybe stopped yourself from even leaving the locker room. In moments like this, be your own life coach and give yourself an internal mantra to help move past any obstacles. Picture yourself crossing the finish line, or repeat one of these motivational fitness quotes to yourself until you actually start to believe it. Quieting negative talk with a more upbeat soundbite might be all it takes to get you moving again.
How have you pushed through negativity when working out?
If you've always been intrigued by the rowing machine, let elite rower Josh Crosby of Equinox take the guesswork out of creating a challenging cardio-driven workout, and try this 30-minute interval endurance plan.
Once you complete the initial three minutes of warming up, Josh suggests getting off the machine and stretching for three to five minutes before moving through these tough intervals that work nine muscle groups in your body! The plan is easy to follow, so keep reading to start rowing.
If you're looking for a buff upper body, you need to try TRX. This form of suspension training takes body-weight exercises to a whole new level. We set up a TRX system on the roof of Equinox in West LA to teach you three arm and back exercises that will also kick your core into gear. Watch this video to learn more about how TRX works, and then try these moves at your gym.
If you're curious to learn more about TRX, read our interview with its creator, former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. He explains why TRX is good for endurance athletes, power lifters, and fitness newbies alike.
You've probably passed the rowing machine more times than you can count, but the next time you're at the gym, try giving it a go! This piece of overlooked equipment offers up a heart-pumping cardio workout while also toning the entire body. World champion rower Josh Crosby of Equinox takes us through an interval workout that can easily be built upon for your next 30-minute sweat session.
If you're looking to tone your abs with some killer full-body moves, then you need to try TRX. This form of suspension training takes body-weight exercises to a whole new level, forcing your core to kick into high gear. We set up a TRX system on the roof of Equinox in West LA to teach you three essential and effective ab exercises. Watch this video to learn more about how TRX works, and then try these moves at your gym.
If you're curious to learn more about TRX, then read our interview with its creator, former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. He explains why TRX is good for endurance athletes, power lifters, and fitness newbies alike.
I had written cardio kickboxing off as a '90s fitness fad made popular by late-night infomercials. But after taking a class at Equinox's San Francisco location, I'm mad at letting myself miss out on such an amazing workout all these years. Never boring, cardio kickboxing is a challenge in technique, endurance, and concentration. It's also great for time-pressed individuals looking to lose weight fast. In as little as 30 minutes, you can expect to burn more calories doing cardio kickboxing than you would in other hour-long, aerobic-based workouts. Liz LeFrois, group fitness instructor at Equinox and Master Kickboxing instructor, recently shared with us what to expect when taking cardio kickboxing for the first time and who is best suited for this intense workout.
What should you expect? Make no mistake, this is a fast-paced class that will have you sweating buckets. The high-intensity workout fuses together kicks, punches, and jumps into quick combinations that keep the body moving. "Some people get frustrated because it's hard to do it properly," says Liz. "But just as in anything new that you learn, it comes with time." Liz says the key to doing well in cardio kickboxing is being focused and alert during class. This will help you keep up with the moves and easily piece together the combinations. "Even if you are not feeling successful the first couple rounds, don't stop going to the classes; it gets easier."
What kind of person should try cardio kickboxing? Cardio kickboxing is a must for those who are looking to lose weight or build up heart health. It's a major calorie-torcher: one 30-minute class burns over 300 calories! Because the classes are relatively short and the combinations are constantly changing, cardio kickboxing is also great for those who get bored easily. The only requirement, Liz says, is "to be ready to work and be in the moment." Because concentration is a prerequisite for these classes, Liz says kickboxing can also be a great mental workout and huge stress reliever. "A cardio kickbox class is great if you are having a bad day because you'll forget all about it."
Check out Liz's secrets for taking a cardio kickboxing class after the break!