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The “Bad Ass” Factor

Posted on: April 20th, 2012 by Rachel Cosgrove
I can’t think of a better word to describe the feeling I’m about to describe…
This past weekend we had a team of 30 people, at Results Fitness, do our first Mud Run and we had a blast! We had people on our team at all levels, all ages and everyone had so much fun. More than one of them had an inspiring story of overcoming some major obstacles in their life and throughout their membership at Results Fitness.
During the race, I was running with a couple of our clients. After just finishing crawling through a muddy, smelly, hot, claustrophobic tunnel completely covered from head to toe in mud, the mud was starting to dry on our skin as we ran down the trail we were discussing that we could have just opted for a mud bath at the spa…
…but as we discussed it, we decided that the spa just didn’t have the same “Bad Ass Factor.” There was something about coming up to each of these obstacles, that were things you had never done before, climbing over, under, through mud that made you feel like a “Bad Ass” and that was a pretty cool feeling.
In fact, that “Bad Ass Factor” was what made this race so much fun!
I started to think about this concept of a “Bad Ass Factor” and I realized it is a huge reason why our clients love the exercises they get to do at Results Fitness(and the ones in my book).
Especially for women who have been sticking to some of the not so “bad ass” exercises like the treadmills or aerobic classes all their lives. When you learn how to Deadlift, do a Chin Up or a Push Up, use the ropes or a kettlebell there is nothing better than doing one of these exercises that has a high “Bad Ass Factor” and leaving the gym feeling like…A Bad Ass!
What exercise has the highest “Bad Ass Factor” for you? Leave your answer below!

No excuses…

Posted on: February 9th, 2012 by Rachel Cosgrove

On the road and decided to hit the gym for a strength workout. I never know what I’ll walk into at a hotel gym. This morning I walked in to a row of treadmills with a chalk board to sign up to get in line with a 30 minute limit….No Thanks…

And a room full of equipment to sit on…

But around the corner I found some dumbbells and this “functional training area!”

So what did I do? Well, here was my exact workout….

Active warm up/ movement prep/ stretch and even foam rolling (yes there was a foam roller in that functional corner)

1A Box Jumps on the Reebok Steps near the free weights for my power exercise 2 sets x 8 reps

2A Medicine Ball Wood Chops as my core exercise  2 sets X 8 reps each

3A Dumbbell Deadlift with the 50 lb dumbbells 3 x 12 reps (Those are my 50 lb dumbbells on the floor)

3B T Push Up 3 x 12 reps

3C Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat with 30 lb dumbbells 3 x 12 reps

4A Single Arm Dumbbell Push Press with 30 lb DB 3 x 12 reps each

4B Single leg Romanian Deadlift with single arm row 3 x 12 each

Finisher: Medicine Ball Body Weight Jump Squats  2 X 8 reps

Jot it down and use it next time your in a hotel gym to get your workout done!

 

Want A Dancer’s Body?

Posted on: February 1st, 2012 by Rachel Cosgrove

I hadn’t been back to dance class for years and decided to go back. I used to be really good at turns – you name it – Chaines, Pirouettes, Fouettes…I could turn all day. It had been awhile since I had tried to turn.

There I was, in dance class after years of not taking class and we were about to head across the floor doing the usual walk, walk, Pas De Bourree, Pas De Bourree land in fourth and Pirouette turn! I could feel butterflies in my stomach unsure of if my body remembered how to turn. I was next, all eyes on me and my energy was a little nervous, excited and in anticipation of wanting to be able to still turn. All that energy  to turn, threw me off balance and I went forward instead of up and didn’t complete the turn.

After a few classes I realized what I was doing wrong and corrections from the instructor telling me “Your energy is going forward, think up!” The fact was, I was trying too hard. The extra effort I was using to make the turn happen was why I was getting thrown off balance. When I realized this and that I actually needed to relax and let myself balance thinking “Up and relax” my turns came back.

That’s right…I still got it…soon enough I was back to double Pirhouette turns no problem.

To balance a dancer stacks everything right on top of each other – their hips centered right over their foot, stacked right under their shoulders with their head inline. If one body part is leaning too much in any direction balancing won’t happen. For example if their hips are sticking out behind them they’ll fall backwards, if their shoulders are leaning forward, forward they’ll go. If they are in the correct position they’ll actually use less effort.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to assist Gray Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS, RKC (he’s really smart) of FunctionalMovement.com during his Hands On Session at The Perform Better One Day Event in Los Angeles. I was honored that he asked me to help him and excited to help the other trainers who were attending.

One of the positions Gray had us working on was the Tall Half Kneeling Position. I had become familiar with this position because we use it at Results Fitness frequently but also because we had Brett Jones at our gym teaching an FMS level 2 work shop the week before and half kneeling was a huge part of his curriculum as well.

Starting off with just your body weight, holding the position feeling your stabilizers kicking in when they needed to, but cueing to remember to breathe and almost relax in that stacked position. If you are in the right position, with your hips right underneath your shoulders, over your supporting knee you won’t have to tense up to hold the position. It is exactly like a dancer balancing for a turn. Your stabilizers will kick in to keep you balanced but you don’t need to SQUEEZE your glutes or PULL your stomach in tight trying to muscle the position and “try too hard” like I was in my turns above.

The tall half kneeling position is a great place to work on your balance, putting your stabilizers to work while breathing and relaxing into a balanced position. You’ll know you are in the right position when you don’t have to “work too hard” to stay there.

To get into the proper Tall Half Kneeling position:

Start with your right knee on the ground with a towel under it for padding and your left leg lunged in front of you with your foot flat on the ground as if you are in a “Will You Marry Me” pose. Bring your left foot in line with your right knee so you could be balancing on a balance beam with a fairly narrow stance. Your right knee should be directly under your right hip, under your shoulders and inline with your ear in a “stacked” position. Get tall and balance in that position. You will feel all of your stabilizer muscles firing to keep you balanced. Below Amy Wunsch, our physical therapist at Results Fitness demonstrates the Tall Half Kneeling Position.

Once you can balance in that position you are ready to “turn”…ok I won’t make you “turn” but you are ready to hold a load in that position that will demand that you fire your glutes and core to stay stable only using what you need.  You can add load by either adding a chop or an offset over head press. When you add load you will have to engage your bigger muscles to handle the load.

No guarantee’s that this will give you a dancer’s body but it will give you the same feeling of being centered and balanced like a dancer. Add load when you’re ready. Use this new stance with a number of the current exercises you may already be doing including chopping and over head pressing.