Monthly Archives: September 2013


TRX:The Best Piece of Equipment in Your Gym

TRX

If you belong to a gym, then by now you have seen the TRX straps hanging around. You may also notice that the TRX station is almost always being utilized by the trainers and their clients. Simply put, the TRX suspension straps are one of the most effective and functional fitness tools to be developed in years. It allows the entire body to be trained without having to move from machine to machine. The TRX uses gravity and your body weight as resistance. Since you must control movement from an unstable position, you are building your core, flexibility, balance and, of course, strengthening the muscles you are focusing on.

Below are my top three, easy to master, TRX moves. However, if you are curious about the TRX and plan on adding it to your routine, I highly suggest you get at least one personal training session to really perfect the form. While the TRX is extremely safe, you should make sure you are doing it correctly to avoid injury.

TRX Squat row

The Squat and Wide Grip Row

What it works: Legs, Upper back, biceps and shoulders

Stand at angle to the anchor point, with your arms straight and your palms facing down. Your weight should be on your heels. In this picture, my legs are far apart, making it easier. Position your feet closer together if you are more advanced. Lower your butt towards your calves, then push through the heels while you row your arms back . Your elbows should be away from your body. Give your shoulder blades a light squeeze at the top of the motion.

 balance lunge2

The Single Leg Balance Lunge

What it works: Core stability and legs

Start by gripping the handles in a neutral grip (palms faced in). Before you try balancing, just perform a regular reverse lunge while holding onto the straps. Practice keeping your body centered and your knee over your ankle. If you are brand new to exercise and don’t have lower body strength, then this is where you should stay for the time being. Otherwise, perform a reverse lunge, but don’t allow your back foot to make contact with the floor.

 TRX push up

Suspended Chest Press

What it works: Shoulders, chest, triceps and core

Get in a standing push up position with your hands holding onto the straps at chest height. Beginners should have their feet close to where the hands are holding on to the handles, while more advanced people can walk their feet back. As if you were doing a push up, lower your chest towards your hands. Press back up to start. Make sure your core is engaged. If the straps are rubbing against your arms, you can position your hands a bit higher.

For each exercise, perform anywhere from 10-20 reps, depending on your fitness level. Once you master these basic moves, I suggest moving through them quickly to get your heart rate up. Why not burn a few calories while you work on strength?

You can check out the entire TRX flow by going here: TRX Workout

New Finds in the Fridge: Fancy Yogurt and Chia Seeds

As if we needed more options in the yogurt section of the supermarket, there have been a few new products added to the shelves. Yogurt is such a great snack for either pre or post workout. It has carbohydrates to fuel your body before you exercise and protein to build muscles afterward. Are these new products worthy of being added to the snack rotation? Here’s the rundown:

Siggi’s Yogurt

Siggis

I really wanted to try this stuff after it came highly recommended by one of my clients. Siggi’s is Icelandic strained non-fat yogurt that you can find in organic markets, since the milk they use is hormone free. I’ve also seen it at Gristedes and Fairway. But at $2.50 for a five ounce container, I was hesitant to buy it. What if I loved the stuff? Then I’m stuck buying pricey yogurt for the rest of my life. Well unfortunately for my wallet (but fortunately for my taste buds!) this yogurt rocks. It’s super thick and creamy, has 110 calories and just 11 grams of sugar. It also packs 14 grams of protein so it is really filling. The good news is that it’s often on sale at Fairway. Also, the company sweetly sent me coupons after I raved about them on Twitter. Now if I can just build up the nerve to use them in an NYC supermarket. It’s intimidating to use coupons here. I don’t know why.

Chia Pod

Chia Pod

Gross. Don’t get me wrong, I love chia seeds and chia pudding. I make it myself with almond milk (simple recipe below) and I’ve gotten it at Organic Avenue to the tune of $8.00 a jar. So I was excited to see that Chia pudding had hit the main stream and was making an appearance at the grocery store. Nowadays, everyone is touting chia seeds as a “super food” because they are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and because of their high fiber content. I could (and probably will) write an entire blog about the wonderful chia seed. Alas, the Chia Pod is pretty vile. I like the texture, but the flavor is off-putting. I tried mango. Maybe if you try a different flavor, you will have a better experience. Anything’s possible. If you want to give it a try, it’s about $2.60 for a six ounce container and comes in a few flavors. A serving is 149 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein and 11 grams of sugar. Good luck with that.

Powerful Yogurt

PYogurt 1

The yogurt for men. The label has a bull on one side and a picture of a man’s abs on the other, so you know it’s serious and for DUDES ONLY. After studying the label, the main difference between this and any other yogurt is that there are 20 grams of protein instead of 17 grams in Greek yogurt, or 14 grams in the aforementioned Siggi’s. There are also 21 grams of sugar in this bad boy! To put that in perspective, there are only 11 grams of sugar in a serving of Entemann’s cookies (don’t ask me how I know this, I just do, OK??) Powerful Yogurt tastes similar to Dannons, so there is nothing special taste-wise. I guess all that sugar must be expensive, because it’s a dollar more than Fage Greek yogurt. If I were a man, I’d save my money and just eat the “girly” stuff.

If you’ve got any special grocery store snack finds, please let me know!

Chia Pudding

1/4 cup chia seeds

2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water)

1 tsp vanilla extract.

1 tsp or to taste of maple syrup or any sweetener you like

Don’t listen to the interwebs when they tell you not to use a blender when making your chia pudding. You absolutely should blend this mixture in a blender (gently and just for a few seconds) and place mixture in a mason jar. Put in fridge. After about 10 minutes, give the jar a vigorous shake. Otherwise your chia seeds will clump. Still edible, but weird. Let it sit overnight for an awesome breakfast or snack. Add a small amount of granola or slivered almonds for texture.

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