Can You Use Kettlebells With A Bad Back?

Can You Use Kettlebells With A Bad Back?

I always get a lot of questions at One Love Fit Club in Chino, CA, about the benefits and drawbacks of specific exercises for a variety of physical limitations. One specific question recently was what types of exercises were good for a bad back, and whether kettlebells could be used if you have back problems. Just like any type of exercise, it depends on how you use the kettlebells and the training you have. When I work clients in personal training, I modify all workouts to ensure they address specific needs, whether it’s building up back muscles without exacerbating pain. The same is true with kettlebells. Some workouts can’t be done if you have a back injury, while others, when done correctly can help build the muscles to relieve pain.

Learn the right technique for a start.

No matter what exercise you do, form counts. The same is true for kettlebells. Exercise, no matter what type it is, increases circulation and that helps heal muscle tissue and builds strength to prevent future pain. It’s the reason you do active recovery after working out too hard at the gym, where every muscle in your body burns. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself and exercise can help.

No matter what type of move you use with kettlebells, it’s all about form.

You’ll exacerbate pain if your technique is poor. For instance, if you have lower back pain, it will get worse if let the kettlebell pull you forward and feel your weight mostly on your toes, then adjust that move by yanking it out of that position. You need to use a relaxed position and let the kettlebell flow naturally with your body.

When you do functional training with kettlebells, you’ll strengthen your spine.

You’ll build all types of function strength, power and endurance, while increasing flexibility with the right kettlebell workout. Kettlebell workouts also strengthen your core, which is good for the back. As it builds strength, it also builds flexibility, which you need for a healthier back. The exercises work the larger muscle groups to build strength, so smaller muscles don’t have to take over, which make them more prone to injury.

  • Kettlebell training help your muscles work in synergy. Your muscles work together as one during a kettlebell workout, which transfers to daily life to provide functional fitness and prevent further injury.
  • Just like any type of exercise, when you workout with kettlebells, if you have a bad back, start out light and don’t push yourself. Trying to do too much before you strengthen the back muscles or learn the proper technique, can make things worse.
  • Before you start kettlebell workouts, I’d recommend some personal training to first strengthen the back. For instance, something as simple as wall push-ups can help relieve pain and build the muscles of the back.
  • If you’re suffering from back pain, first check with your health care provider before starting any exercise program. If you have the okay, then personal training can help you build the strength to eliminate most back pain.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club!

Which Workouts Go Together?

Which Workouts Go Together?

Are you confused about which workouts go together? If you join us at One Love Fit Club in kickboxing classes, you wouldn’t have to be. Kickboxing gives a total body workout that’s different every session. For those who prefer more traditional training or want to supplement their kickboxing, identifying the types of workouts that go together is important. You’ll get maximum benefit when you plan the workout right.

You can pair your cardio with your strength training by using HIIT workouts.

What is HIIT? It stands for high intensity interval training. It’s a way you do exercises that varies the intensity from high, driving your heart rate up, for a short time, from ten seconds to a few minutes, then gear down to a recovery intensity that allows your heart rate to slow a bit. You can combine this type of exercise with weight lifting or strength building exercises, to get both cardio and strength exercises at the same time.

Exercise the right muscle groups together to build strength.

Pairing complementary muscle groups will help you build more muscles by activating more muscle fibers. Eventually that will lead to more muscles and more strength. You shouldn’t exercise two major muscle groups in the same workout. As an example, if you work out your legs, chest or the back at the same time, you’ll drain your energy. You may get a good workout on the first muscle group, but be too exhausted to work the other group. Remember, you aren’t just working the major muscle group, you’re also working other muscles, too. If you do a chest press, you’ll work the chest, but also the triceps and shoulders.

Divide strength training into three days.

If you want to maximize your strength training, divide up your strength building workout into three days. Consider doing one day of back exercises that also focus on your biceps and abs. Skip a day, then do the chest, combined with shoulders and triceps. Skip another day and then work on legs doing hamstring, quads and calves. You’ll get the maximum strength-building benefit from your workout by doing it that way.

  • Do compound moves when you workout. Compound moves work several muscle groups at once. Squat, bench press and deadlifts are all compound exercises. Compound exercises that also compound two moves into one, such as a lunge with a bicep curl.
  • No matter how you do your workout, aim to do strength training on all muscle groups at least once a week. If you’re doing exercises that work your full body, you’ll know all the groups have been worked.
  • No matter what your strength building workout, don’t forget to warm up first. Warm up exercises can include anything from jumping jacks or jumping rope to arm swings. Cool down at the end of each exercise session. It can be as simple as walking around for five minutes.
  • Rather than trying to put together the perfect exercise program for you, why not use the expertise of our personal trainers at One Love Fitness Club, who create individual programs based on your goals and needs.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Elliptical Workouts Vs. Treadmill

Elliptical Workouts Vs. Treadmill

At One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA, we try to improve people’s fitness and also their knowledge of fitness and different types of exercises and fitness machines. One question that seems to be on the mind of clients is that if there were a competition for the best fitness machine that was elliptical workouts vs. treadmill, which one would win. First, both will give you a good cardio workout and both are far better than doing nothing. With that being said, let’s look at the differences.

What’s an elliptical machine?

If you’ve never used an elliptical trainer, sometimes called a cross trainer, it’s a device that lets you do several types of exercises. You can use it for walking, climbing, running and even for upper body exercise if it offers moving upper body parts. It provides a low impact way to workout, so it’s good for preventing injuries. Just like treadmills, they provide weight-bearing training to help maintain bone density.

Treadmills offer the advantage of strengthening your bones more than elliptical machines.

The treadmill is another classic cardio machine that people still love and look forward to using. It’s particularly good for runners who often choose it above all other types of machines in the gym. You can change the incline of your run to make it harder. While it offers more of an impact to help strengthen your bones, that can be a negative as well, since the impact can take its toll on your joints.

Which should you choose?

Consider the elliptical machine if you’re recovering from an injury or have problems with your knees or ankles. People with those situations will definitely benefit. If you’re like most people, without any special needs, why not opt for both. Getting exercise is all about mixing it up and working your body in different ways. Use a treadmill on some days and the elliptical on others for your cardio workout.

  • If you choose to use a treadmill, the best type to use to mimic the actual act of running is the non-motorized type. Your feet drag the belt backward as you push off and go forward, which is more like running outdoors.
  • While the elliptical machine may provide total body exercise as you get a great cardio workout, it also does much of the work for you, so you burn fewer calories.
  • You get less of a core rotation on an elliptical if you’re hanging onto the handles than you would on a treadmill swinging your arms. Since a small amount of the weight is put onto the railing as you do, you get less of a workout on your legs, too.
  • People have been debating which is best, the elliptical or the treadmill, for ages. The best one is the one you use and the one that’s best for your body and situation.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Should I Mix Up My Workouts?

Should I Mix Up My Workouts?

I have clients that come to One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA, who ask, “Why do you provide so many different types of exercise? Is it important to mix up my workouts?” The answer is simple. Yes, it’s important and there are many good reasons to add variety to your exercise program. First, variety helps prevent boredom. If you’re going to the gym and just going through the motions because you’ve done the workout a thousand times, you’re not doing yourself a favor. You’ll actually be less motivated and not work as hard as you should to get the maximum benefits.

Plateauing can occur when you do the same workout repeatedly.

If you have been losing weight and reaching your goals, then suddenly all the progress stopped, it could be that you plateaued. When you don’t change your workout, your body becomes more efficient, meaning it burns fewer calories. That can cause a stall in your weight loss progress, which is a plateau. Varying your workout will help you get the maximum benefit from every hour you spend at the gym.

You need all types of workouts to be truly healthy.

Varying your workout should include all types of exercises. You need flexibility training, strength training, endurance training and training for balance. If you have hours of cardio, but neglect strength training, you won’t build more muscle tissue. In fact, it can actually slow the progress of weight loss, by burning lean muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the more calories you’ll burn.

Varying your workout ensures you work all muscles in all directions.

Few workouts, except with activities like kickboxing, work muscles on all planes or provide a total body workout. Most exercises focus on specific muscle groups, but don’t always work all the muscles in the group. By switching your workout or spending a few days doing alternative exercise, you’ll work all the muscles in your body on a variety of planes. It’s one reason kickboxing is so good. You don’t continuously move the same muscles.

  • Not only does varying your workout prevent boredom, it can make working out fun. People love kickboxing and often forget they’re really exercising, since it’s a sport with loads of challenge.
  • Doing the same workout repeatedly can result in injuries. Overuse injuries can be prevented by mixing things up and avoiding using the same muscles, joints and ligaments repeatedly.
  • Learning a new exercise can actually boost brain health. It helps prevent memory loss, keeps neurons firing better and develops new neural paths.
  • If you’re used to working out alone or running by yourself, maybe it’s time to get a little more social. Switching up your workout to include activities where you make new friends, adds a new aspect to fitness and can boost your motivation.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Exercise Can Help With Mental Health?

Exercise Can Help With Mental Health?

There’s a side benefit of exercise, besides making you healthier and your body look great, exercise can help with mental health. Besides being fun, kickboxing can lift your mood physiologically. It burns off the hormones of stress and that alone can clear your mind and make you feel better. Stress hormones make changes to your body that prepare you for running or fighting. If you don’t do either, those changes remain, keeping you in a constant state of gut wrenching anxiety.

Many studies show that exercise provide an aid when you have depression or anxiety.

Not only is there interest in the topic of exercise for emotional health, many therapists are using it as an adjunct therapy for people suffering from anxiety or depression. It not only eliminates the stress hormones, it also stimulates the brain to create hormones that make you feel good. Most studies show that for anxiety and depression, getting moderate exercise just a few times a week improves the condition. It can even help eliminate the need for medication.

You’ll sleep better and sounder when you workout regularly.

If you’ve ever had a problem sleeping or burned the candle at both ends, you know how fuzzy brained you feel. Sometimes, the problem isn’t lack of sleep, but lack of quality sleep. Not only does exercise help you go to sleep faster, it also improves the quality of sleep you get. Both of those can interfere with your thought processes. Exercise can help you sleep and quality sleep can improve your mental functioning.

Working out builds brain power in other ways.

Studies show that exercise is good for your mental functioning. It increases cognitive abilities. Some studies are using exercise to help brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s one reason daily exercise is so good for you as you age. Several studies show that cardio or endurance training helps with neurogenesis, which is the creation of new brain cells. It strengthens the hippocampus, also and that improves your memory.

  • Poor posture makes you look less confident. Try an experiment sometime. First, sit up straight and note how you feel, then slump and do the same. You’ll feel the difference and that difference affects how you act, look and feel.
  • Exercise increases your heart rate, which not only improves circulation, also stimulates the production of neurohormones that improve your mood and boosts your cognitive functioning.
  • Have you ever watched people waiting at a hospital for the outcome of a serious surgery on a loved one? Many tend to pace. It’s a way to help relieve anxiety. If you’re under stress, try doing exercise or simply running up and down stairs. It can take your mind off the problem and help you feel better.
  • Learning new skills can build new neural pathways in the brain and helps the brain work faster. Being social also helps. It’s one reason kickboxing is so good for both the body and the brain.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Tips For Healthy Meals For A Busy Life

Tips For Healthy Meals For A Busy Life

I love watching clients have fun when they kickbox for their workout at One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA. I also know that they’re helping their body every time they do, but also know that it takes more than just working out to be your fittest. It takes eating nutritious foods, too. Life is busy and it’s often easier to go through a drive through on the way home, but those types of food don’t build your body or improve your chances of getting fit. If your life is already hectic, and whose isn’t, here are some healthy meals for a busy life.

Plan ahead and use the leftovers.

You don’t have to cook a big meal every day. Just planning ahead can make a difference. Toss a chicken in the air fryer, oven, Instant Pot and season it with your favorite herbs and spices. Use the chicken to top a salad, a power bowl using leftovers or main dish. If you use an electric pressure cooker, you can cook two pounds of chicken in 12 minutes, 20 minutes if it’s frozen. Make Teriyaki chicken by adding green onions, 2/3 cup low sodium teriyaki sauce, 1Tbsp honey and a fourth cup chicken broth.

Chop up vegetables and store them for those quick meals, and use leftovers.

Let’s face it, half the battle preparing a meal is chopping the vegetables. Once they’re ready, they make the perfect quick snack, especially if you have healthy dip in the fridge. You’ll have them ready for a salad, to add to soup or to steam as a side dish. Toss thinly sliced or chopped leftover veggies in a freezer bag with small cubes of chicken or shrimp. Add your favorite marinade and freeze. Saute in a skillet or bake for 15-20 minutes when you’re ready to eat this no prep meal.

Make rice or quinoa for several meals.

Make up a double or triple batch of rice or quinoa, depending on how much you like it. Use it one day in a salad with some of the extra vegetables like cucumber, spinach, red onion and avocado with a homemade dressing. The leftovers can stuff a pepper or tomato with Parmesan or other cheese, peas, and a little seasoning. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. (HINT: Put tomatoes in muffin tins, so they hold their shape.) Combine rice with a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of beans and onions for a quick beans and rice main dish.

  • Make your own healthy teriyaki sauce with a cup of water, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1.4 cup honey, one minced garlic clove, ½ tsp ginger root grated and a mixture of 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water. Bring all the ingredients but the cornstarch mixture to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture and continue to boil 7-10 minutes, stirring it constantly
  • Make a healthy dressing ahead that takes just a minute. Combine ½ C balsamic vinegar, ½ C extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and 1 tablespoon honey jar, then put on the lid and shake.
  • Always cook double the meat you’re going to use for one meal or even more. You can shred it, cube it or freeze single portions for meals later, cutting kitchen time in half.
  • Get creative. If you buy burrito shells for one night, use them another night as part of a meal. They make a great salad wrap and even delicious grilled cheese. Heat on one side, flip it over. Sprinkle cheese on half, fold the shell in half and then quarter it. Serve with soup or salad.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Does The Fat Burning Zone Really Exist?

Does The Fat Burning Zone Really Exist?

You may have heard about the fat burning zone, which is the perfect amount of intensity to burn the most fat. Some cardio machines even have a graph on them to show heart rate and fat burning. Based on the information from those machines, since it’s not at the highest intensity, these people often have more subdued exercises. However, another school of thought is that the higher the intensity, the better the workout. That also can be a fallacy.

It’s all based on your heart rate.

High-intensity workouts drive your heart rate toward maximum, while fat burning intensity is less than that, but still a bit of an effort. In order to burn fat, the body needs two things, time and oxygen. Body fat breaks down slower and requires more oxygen. The high intensity workout doesn’t provide the time and there’s less oxygen, so it uses carbohydrates instead of fat for fuel.

There’s a problem with the whole scenario that needs to be considered.

It’s all about losing weight and burning calories. While you’ll burn more fat tissue with a low intensity fat-burning zone workout, you won’t burn as many calories, so may not create a calorie deficit to lose weight. While the high intensity workout burns far more calories and will end up with more of a calorie deficit to take off weight. In the end, if you don’t burn enough calories, you won’t lose fat, no matter what intensity.

Try high-intensity interval training—HIIT.

HIIT is a way to vary the intensity of a workout. It burns fat and tons of calories, while helping you get in shape faster. You move at the highest intensity for a short time and then switch to a lower, recovery speed to get your heart rate lower for a few minutes. Switch back to a higher intensity etc. You can use HIIT with any kind of exercise and the science of it is probably the reason kickboxing gets you fit faster and burns fat. You’re constantly volleying between top intensity and recovery, making it a natural HIIT workout.

  • Finding the fat burning zone requires an effort unless you have the right equipment and then it’s based on the average, not based on the individual and taken from a chart.
  • Focusing only on the mathematics of a workout and trying to stick with strictly the fat burning zone takes a lot of mental energy that could be devoted to form and even enjoyment.
  • The theory of the fat burning zone suggests that the ultimate zone is at 60 percent of the maximum heart rate. However, the fact that each person is different, based on age, sex and other factors, finding the exact fat burning zone is difficult.
  • Rather than focusing on the fat burning zone, go for variety and enjoyment. Whether you want personal training or choose the fun of kickboxing, we can help at One Love Fit Club in Chino, CA.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Best Workouts For Depression

Best Workouts For Depression

At One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA, you see a lot of happy faces leave the gym. That’s because they feel good after a tough workout. In fact, kickboxing workouts for depression are particularly effective. You get the great feeling of stress release by kicking and punching your way through the workout and the lift that comes from the endorphin release. Those chemicals not only increase the body temperature, that causes it to relax, but it burns off stress hormones, while releasing feel good hormones that boost your mood and ease the symptoms of depression.

You need vigorous enough exercise to break a sweat.

Aerobic exercise gets your body moving and boosts circulation. In fact, studies show that aerobic workouts actually provide the best depression-fighting type of exercise. You don’t have to be extremely intense, just get moving. However, the more intense the workout, which causes your body to work and you to sweat, can boost the production of the feel good hormones, endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s way to deal with pain and a natural morphine. They also create a sense of well-being, necessary for fighting depression. Running can be a good depression-fighting tool and of course, so can kickboxing.

Strength training also works in specific cases.

While aerobic workouts have always been used to fight depression, a recent study found that a ten week strength training program could help, too. The results of the study of 45 stroke survivors who also had depression showed a marked improvement. The consensus was that the mastery and control brought from working out to build strength and the focused concentration improved their sense of control to help lift the stroke victims’ spirits.

If you don’t like to run, how about a brisk walk?

It can’t be repeated enough. Just move!!! If you’re feeling down in the dumps or suffer from depression, take a walk and see if you don’t feel better. A brisk walk can improve circulation, can be done by almost anyone and all it takes is a good pair of comfortable walking shoes. If it’s cold outside, take a tip from seniors and walk in the mall. Don’t try to break any records at first, gradually add to your distance and walking time. Make the walk even more enjoyable and get out in nature. There are theories that walking on grass barefoot, called grounding, can also boost your spirits.

  • If you’re stuck in the house and can’t get out, try walking up and down the stairs. If you don’t have stairs, create a path and pace fast through the house or do a few jumping jacks or other calisthenics.
  • Tai chi is good for depression. The slow movements of tai chi can be done by beginners no matter how out of shape you are. They’re tougher than they look and can really make you sweat.
  • One study divided 65 women with anxiety and depression into two groups. One group took yoga and the other didn’t. The group that took yoga showed a marked improvement. It may be the quieting of the mind that helped.
  • If you choose exercise to help you with depression, make it something you enjoy, so you won’t feel like it’s punishment. Enjoyment is one reason many people come to One Love Fit Club for kickboxing.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Exercises To Increase Mobility

Exercises To Increase Mobility

What are exercises to increase mobility? They’re flexibility exercises and mandatory if you want to avoid pulling muscles and facing injuries that can set you back for months. These are range of motion exercises that can even help if you already have an ache or pain when you move in a certain way. Shoulder pain can come from a rotary cuff injury, but it also may be from an impingement that’s caused by bad posture and weaker muscles. Using exercises to increase mobility can help relieve the pain and avoid surgery.

Whether it’s just tight muscles or even osteoarthritis, range of motion exercises can help.

One twelve week study found that a program of exercise helped hip osteoarthritis. The goal was to strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility and balance. The group that exercised had more mobility and less pain than the group that didn’t or one that received ultrasound treatments as a placebo. One good exercise for hip flexibility is walking hip openers. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then lift one knee, bringing it to the chest. Make a circle with that knee, bringing it across the up then across the body and to the side and down. Do the same with the other knee.

Get more mobility in your thoracic spine to relieve shoulder and upper back pain.

Two good exercises to increase mobility, while also improving posture include floor windmills and goal post stretch. Floor windmills require a towel or pillow for under your head. You start laying on your side on the floor with knees and hips bent to a 90 degree angle one on top of the other, making you look like you’re sitting on an imaginary chair. Your arms should be out straight with one hand on top of the other and palms together at shoulder height. Slowly lift the top arm up and rotate it to the other side until it’s level with the other arm and palm to the ceiling. Hold and return to the original position, then switch to the other side.

Strengthen your ankles and improve their range of motion to help improve balance.

Weak ankles can lead to injury and severely limit your performance in the gym, especially when doing squats. This simple exercise increases your range of motion, strengthening the ankles at the same time. Stand next to the wall, putting one hand on the wall for support. Go forward onto your toes into tip-toe position, then slowly lower and rock back onto your heels, lifting up your toes. Repeat at least ten times to build flexibility in the ankles.

  • A goal post stretch requires leaning up against the wall so all point on your body touch, extending your arms bent at the elbow with forearms forming a goal post. As you progress, squeeze your shoulder blades together or try lifting your bent arms higher.
  • A broomstick, wooden or pvc pole can help improve your shoulder, upper back, chest and neck range of motion. Hold it in front of you with your palms down, then lift overhead, going as far back behind you as possible. Return to starting position and repeat.
  • Extended lunges are a great way to stretch. Do a lunge with the right leg forward, but lean far enough forward to put both hands on the ground. Lift your left hand and point it to the sky as you stretch. Return to starting position and lead out with the other leg.
  • At One Love Fit Club, we include many range of motion workouts. Just learning kickboxing can help loosen muscles, too.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

Why You Should Keep Workouts Under An Hour

Why You Should Keep Workouts Under An Hour

There are so many reasons to exercise, but you can have too much of a good thing. It’s been shown that exercising a half-hour to 45 minutes is enough to get you into shape. Some studies show that breaking a half hour into three ten-minute sessions is still as beneficial as working out for thirty minutes straight. There’s also more information that indicates you should keep workouts under an hour.

Overtraining can be a problem.

If you’ve never heard of catabolism, don’t feel bad. Many people haven’t. It’s the enemy of anyone trying to build muscle tissue and burn fat. It’s the process that’s started by the hormone cortisol and involves breaking down tissue. While this process is perfectly normal, it’s stimulated by stress and has a negative impact on the body. It breaks down tissue and prevents growth, changes protein to glucose and lowers the body’s ability to synthesize protein. It comes from lack of rest and excess strength training, not allowing the muscles to heal and repair properly. Spending hours at the gym boosts the production of cortisol.

If you’re working out hard or working with weights, after an hour you’ll increase your risk of injury.

People who lift heavy weights are particularly prone to accidents and injury after an hour, but exhaustion and overuse can affect technique and style of those who aren’t lifting, too. Exhaustion can cause poor form that leads to pulled muscles, dislocations, tendinitis and other types of injury. Keeping your workout to 45 minutes can help avoid the problem.

You can develop mental burnout when you train longer.

Just like the body, cortisol can have negative effects on the mind. It can lead to bouts of depression, anxiety or irritability for those who workout too long. The cortisol released affects the other hormones in the body and that’s what creates the biggest problem. Even worse, unlike physical exhaustion and injury, the effect on mental health is often unnoticed.

  • Studies show that you’ll have an excess of cortisol levels after just an hour of exercise. That means keeping your workout to under an hour is important.
  • Overtraining, working out longer than 45 minutes, can weaken your immune system. It can decrease the levels of antibodies in the body.
  • If you’re training to lose weight, don’t think more is better. Training so much that you don’t build muscle tissue is counterproductive and makes weight loss harder. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn 24/7.
  • We create programs that provide that sweet spot, getting the best possible training without overdoing it. At One Love Fit Club, we’re confident that you’ll see amazing results, we offer a 30-day full money back guarantee.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club