Kemme Fitness

Complete Resources for a Functional Fitness Lifestyle

Archive for Fitness

Can’t Use Your Arm Workout #3

This is the 3rd Functional Fitness workout utilizing exercises which do not require load bearing weight on an arm. Check out the others here and here.

Note: injured people exercising should do so with consultation with medical professionals

NEEDED EQUIPMENT:  None

CIRCUIT #1

5 Frog Jumps

30 Ice Skaters

30 Lunge Walks


CIRCUIT #2

30 seconds each exercise

V-Sit

6″ (lay on your back and hold your feet off the ground 6″)

45 Degrees (lay on your back and hold your feet at a 45 degree angle)

90 Degrees (lay on your back and hold your feet straight up)


CIRCUIT #3

Air Squats

Side Lunges

Split Squat Jumps

30, 20, 10 reps (3 rounds)


CIRCUIT #4

Repeat Circuit #2


CIRCUIT #5

20 Slaloms

Sprint 40-50 yards

20 seconds Stutter Steps

Sprint 40-50 yards

X3

Can’t use your arm workout #2

This is the 2nd Functional Fitness workout utilizing exercises which do not require load bearing weight on an arm. Check out the first “Can’t Use Your Arm Workout.”

Note: injured people exercising should do so with consultation with medical professionals

NEEDED EQUIPMENT: Physioball

 

CIRCUIT #1

30 seconds of each exercise

Stutter Steps, Physioball Balance, Tuck Jumps, Physioball Leg Curls

X2

 

CIRCUIT #2

1 minute Physioball Bridge

5 Frog Jumps

1 minute V-Sit

4 Frog Jumps

1 minute Ankle Jumps

3 Frog Jumps

1 minute Physioball Bridge

2 Frog Jumps

1 minute Physioball Balance

1 Frog Jumps

 

CIRCUIT #3

10 – each side – Side Lunge

10 – each side – Lateral Bound

10 – each side – Ice Skaters

10 – each side – 1 Leg Over the Line

10 – each side – Siamese Squats

20 Leg Raises

20 Scissors Kicks

20 Rowboat

20 V-Sit Twists

X2

 

CIRCUIT #4

2 Sit-up Stand-up Tuck Jumps

sprint 30 yards

Repeat continuously until exhausted

 

 

Can’t use your arm workout

I recently created a list of exercises which can be used by an injured person who is unable to put any weight their arms. No Burpees, No Push-up, not even Planks.  This workout is a Functional Fitness workout utilizing exercises which do not require load bearing weight on an arm.

Note: injured people exercising should do so with consultation with medical professionals

NEEDED EQUIPMENT: Physioball

CIRCUIT #1

10 – each side – Side Lunge

20 Slaloms

20 Leg Raises

X2

 

CIRCUIT #2

30 seconds each

Physioball Bridge

Physioball 1 Leg Sit-ups (left leg)

Physioball Bridge

Physioball 1 Leg Sit-ups (right leg)

Physioball Bridge

 

CIRCUIT #3

Do 1 minute each, then 45 seconds each, then 30 seconds each (3 rounds)

Ankle Jumps, Rowboats, Squat Jump, V-Sit, Wall Sit, Scissor Kicks, Ice Skaters

 

CIRCUIT #4

30 seconds 45 Degree Sit

10 – each side – Lunge Twists

20 Physioball Leg Curls

X? (at least two rounds)

For somebody who hates running, I’ll tell you why it is still a priority for me

As usual, I’ll give a touch of boring history to get things into context.  I have for the most part always hated running. I’ve done it. I didn’t die, but it is too mind-numbing for me.

In 2009 I broke my thumb and so I opted to run each day until it healed. At first it wasn’t that big of a deal. I had some coworkers to entertain me during the runs. It was almost fun, like a nice break from the intense Functional Fitness workouts. They were around 3 or 4 mile runs, so a nice 35 to 45 minute workout.

That is when I realized my problems.  I supinate, which is when your feet roll out to the side. I should’ve known this since all my shoes wear down on the outside and not the inside. The symptom I obtained was a flaring of my IT band at my knee.  I tell you, that stops you in your tracks pretty quickly.

Bummer.

But then….I discovered Good Form Running, thanks to my good friend and Good Form/Barefoot running expert, Jason Robillard.

barefoot-running

Next thing I knew and 2011 was the year for fitting in barefoot runs. I did 5 miles many times and even ended the good weather (I’m a fair weather runner) with a 7 mile trail run. I even wrote about Good Form running. I’ll speed up the history here: took winter off, didn’t do so well in 2012 and stopped really prioritizing the runs. This brings us to 2013.

2013 meant I didn’t care about running. Tried out a run in minimalist shoes, but my form was easily lost (barefoot was not an option due to heavy gravel). My knees ached again and I realized my form was horrible, yet didn’t care. So what if I couldn’t run a mile without discomfort!  So what!!  There!!

Then it hit me – when did I settle for not being able to run 1 stink’n mile? Really? That is when I got motivated and decided to make running a priority for me.  I now make sure I get in a mile around once or twice a week when it fits in well with my Functional Fitness workouts. I am starting slow and concentrating heavily on my form. In order to go barefoot-to where my form would self-correct-I would have to drive somewhere. Instead, I am working on concentrating with my Trail Gloves on to where I keep good form.  So far so good and my knees are doing well.

The point?  Well I need to be able to run a mile or two without a problem. If not, I can’t claim to have an excellent level of fitness. I will not settle! I will not give up!

I have no problem saying I hate running, but I won’t say that I can’t run.

knowing when to slow down your exercise movements

Plank-with-poor-technique

Poor form.

Why is poor form such an issue if you aren’t lifting heavy weights?  I mean, Kemme Fitness workouts tend to use equipment weighing less than 30 pounds, or even bodyweight only, right?

There are two reasons why poor form should be at the top of your priority list when you exercise.

#1 – getting all your benefits. When your form is not correct, you are not using your muscles the way they were intended. You will most likely be neglecting some very important muscles, and the neural-muscular connections won’t be accurate. Therefore, you are not gaining the benefit of working your body properly to make it the most effective and effecient machine for life’s activities.

#2 – strain. You might not blow out a shoulder if you are performing a Front Bridge in poor form as depicted in the image above, however, when your form goes out the window, you do tend to put too much stress in the wrong areas. This can still cause aches and pains and strains.  Not only is the woman in the pic above not working your core properly and missing out on the strength building that planks/bridges give her, but she runs the risk of putting too much strain on the wrong parts of her body (you can still tweek your back muscles with bodyweight exercises).

The key here is knowing when to slow down and when to keep your intensity levels up. After all, we still want all the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, which means we need to move fast and get that heartrate up. Below are a few tips to keep in mind.

TIP #1 – Know your form to begin with. Don’t do any squats, even Air Squats, until you know how to keep those knees back and to stick that butt out behind you.

TIP #2 – Be extra careful when using weight. Whenever you add weight, even a 15 pound Kettlebell, and begin to hold that weight away from your center of gravity, you require extra muscle strength to maintain good posture/form.

TIP #3 – As you get tired, pay more attention to your form. If those Air Squats are getting too hard and your knees are creeping forward, then it is time to make a decision. Or, if that Front Plank looks like the image above, then it is time to make a decision (see tip #4)

TIP #4 – Decision time. When your form is failing, you have a choice.  You can either slow way down and recover your form, or stop that exercise all together.  Continuing with poor form should not be an option. Do not settle for your butt being in the air when you should have total heel-to-head alignment. If you are using weight, then check your ego and lower the weight. These small decisions are crucial to a healthy Functional Fitness program – or any exercise program for that matter.

If you stay consistent every time and make good decisions as far as not allowing any poor form exercises, you will gain in the long run. You can avoid having to scale back for 4 days or 4 weeks because you tweeked a muscle or tendon.  Plus you won’t miss out on the actual true benefits of a good form exercise.

Simply put – don’t just keep going when you are too tired to keep form.

Why is low impact so important in a fitness program, and where does Kemme Fitness fit in the spectrum

Low impact exercise is usually defined by having at least one foot on the ground at a time, such as walking, running, etc. Swimming is another incredibly effective and efficient “low impact” way to exercise. Higher impact exercises would be Box Jumps and Burpees, etc. Also, when you begin to throw in heavy weights such as a barbell and heavy dumbbells, you are requiring more and more strength to avoid overusing muscles and tendons. Essentially, the risk for injury can increase with the high impact exercises. And clearly injury can occur with heavier and heavier weights. Nobody thinks it is a great idea to load up a barbell with 500 pounds and start lifting it for fun until you body explodes!

box-jump

Why would this be important for folks? Essentially when you move from low impact into higher impact you increase force, which has to go somewhere.  You don’t want this force to go where it can’t be handled by your muscles, bones, and joints to where you get an injury. If you are a beginner, are obese, are pregnant, or have existing injuries, low impact is a safer way to burn calories and increase strength, agility, flexibility, timing, power, balance, coordination, and endurance.

Conversely, higher impact exercise can burn more calories and are believed to even be more effective at strengthening your bones. The key to this entire spectrum of low to high exercises is to listen to your body and never, never, never, “work through the pain.”  If you are a beginner and totally obese, then start slow and smart. Swimming in a pool is ideal for losing weight and building the strength necessary to move onto other forms of exercise. Yes I know going into a pool can be a tough option emotionally, but if you can’t do any other exercise due to your obesity, it just might save your life.

exercise

So where does Kemme Fitness fit in?  We do have some low impact exercises and our workouts are made up of mostly bodyweight exercises. Outside of some of my older At the Gym workouts in the “core” series, you will be hard pressed to even find any weights higher than a 35 pound kettlebell. With that said, our Functional Fitness workouts have you jumping and hopping and swinging things around at times. Those types of exercises are clearly in the high impact end of the spectrum.

Personally (I’m bragging here), I think we have it all here for you.  If you haven’t worked out in years, we have K-Basic for you to begin. Just a Physioball and you are ready to go. You want a challenge? Well then – duh – we have K-Challenge for you!  And there is everything in between.  Basically, Kemme Fitness runs the entire spectrum!  Too much bragging?  oops

Functional Fitness just might be here to stay

I have talked about my predictions concerning the future of Functional Fitness as far back as early 2012 and also here. Recently, a coworker forwarded me an article (see here for complete article) concerning the change in the fitness industry in just the path I hoped it would take.

Just read a few quotes (paraphrases, so not really proper, but good enough for my blog):

Adam Campbell, fitness director for the Men’s Health:  Machines like the leg press strengthen muscles, but what’s the real logic in sitting or laying down to train your legs?  Functional fitness is far more bang for your buck because it works multiple muscles simultaneously, providing better overall strength and mobility, and a higher calorie burn.

David Harris, the national director of personal training for the Equinox chain: I wouldn’t say obsolete, but there is a huge downtick in traditional strength-training equipment.  The company, based in New York, has thinned its ranks of chest press, leg press and leg extension machines to clear floor space so members can move freely.

Josh Bowen, until recently the quality control director for the seven-state Urban Active chain:  He referred to the sweeping revisions the company made last year as swapping “Arnold machines” (as in Schwarzenegger) “for AstroTurf.” He also said, “Gyms are way out of the times if all they have is machines. People spend all day sitting with machines. When they come into a gym, they don’t want to be sat down at another one doing three sets of 12.”

female-pull-up-power1-150x150

I am and have been very biased for years and clearly drink the Functional Fitness cool-aid.  Remember, there are many styles/ways to exercise and Functional Fitness is not for everybody.  However, the general public who want a way to exercise safely and efficiently in order to simply be healthy in a general, overall sense are really going to get that with Functional Fitness over most other formats.

Caution: I’m not talking Crossfit, which technically is a Functional Fitness program.  Click here if you want to know why I don’t personally recommend Crossfit.

There is a wide range of other Functional Fitness programs such as Kemme Fitness, which will get you great benefits with little risk.  In fact, if done properly, you are more likely to reduce the risk of injury in all of your life’s activities. And now, it seems like finding a gym to help you engage in a Functional Fitness program is becoming easier and easier. Sweet!

%d bloggers like this: