What can I use at home?

The idea for this article came to me while I was on the set of eightWest chatting with Rachel. I was there recording a 5 minute segment about my online training programs and in conversation, Rachel told me how she liked to work out at home. She added she doesn’t have weights at home so she uses one of her kids’ toys. It’s a ball and it works just as well!

That creativity and convenience is something I try to share with my clients. While I design workout programs incorporating resistance bands and dumbbells, you can always get a great workout in without it! Whether you’re traveling or just don’t have the space for equipment, at-home workouts can be completed with equipment you have already around!

I’ve compiled a list of common household items to be used instead of weights, bands or exercise balls when those items are not available.

  1. Cans of Soup
    1. Exercises that require a light weight such as tricep kickbacks, shoulder raises, shoulder circles, King Kong Bicep Curls, etc. would be perfect with cans of soup. The cans fit in your hand and are convenient. Be sure the cans you select are okay to shake and approximately the same weight in each hand.
  2. Chair or Coffee Table
    1. Instead of an exercise ball, most exercises can either be done on the floor or with a stable chair! Step Ups? Step on a chair instead. Toe Taps? Tap the seat of a chair. Tricep Dips? Place your hands on the chair for elevation from the ground.
    2. Please be sure to use a stable chair!
  3. Basketball (or Other Sport Ball)
    1. A ball can replace any weighted ball exercise, any lunge/ squat twists, russian twists, push up on ball, or weighted ab exercise. Naturally the size of the ball may change your range of motion but you are using your core, arms and legs – so that’s a win!
  4. Body-weight
    1. Using your own body to do the exercise and omitting a weight is extremely effective. Please be sure to watch your form but body weight exercises can be: push ups, squats, lunges, jumps of any kind, planks (and all plank variations), crunches, superman’s, etc. You can easily achieve a total body workout without equipment. If you aren’t feeling the burn, do more reps or add in a complex movement.  A burpee, for example is a complex movement. You work your upper, lower, core and heart rate at the same time.
  5. Water Jug
    1. Anything with weight will add a challenge. Much like the previous examples, using a heavy water jug is a great way to add weight to an exercise. When using this method, please be sure to watch how you hold the water. Keep your wrists straight so not to hurt them!
  6. Books
    1. Like to read as much as me? You should have plenty of heavy books lying around that will create the perfect weight addition to squats, twists, raise, etc.

 

Do you have other ideas or objects you’ve used? I’d love to hear!

Working out at home is a great option to fit our busy lives. This can sometimes leave us wondering: what can I use instead?! I hope this list helps you.

Have a healthy, happy and successful day,

 

Emily Langlois, CPT

Founder, FITonYourTime

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Life Hacks to Lose Weight

We all know to lose weight we should eat healthy and exercise more. How about something new?
 
Here are 10 Life hacks to help you reach your goals.
 
1. Brush your teeth more often
-Have you ever found you don’t want to eat after just brushing your teeth? Right! After you eat dinner, brush your teeth to avoid dessert and evening snacks.
 
2. Write a list of your goals and tape it to the cupboard.
– If you have to see your goals before you reach for a snack, you’re more likely to choose wisely
 
3. Are you a mindless snacker like me? Write a list of other activies to do besides snacking a tape it somewhere visible.
-Like option 2, reading a list of other things you can do will deter you from reaching in to the snack cupboard when you are not hungry
 
4. When you are about to eat, call your best friend.
-When we get bored, we tend to go for the refrigerator. See if you are actually just bored by doing something else first.
 
5.Instead of sending an email, walk over to the person and talk to them.
– Every step counts!
 
6. Have your veggies prepared in little snack bags
– We are 10X more likely to grab a snack that is easy and prepared than one we have to “cook”. Don’t give yourself a reason to chose a packaged snack and prepare your healthy snacks ahead of time.
 
7. At a bar or party? Don’t sit!
– We tend to drink, on average, twice as fast if we are just sitting having a drink than walking, dancing, talking, etc. PLUS dancing or at least walking around burns calories too. Select to stand the next time you are out.
 
8. Mix Apple Cider Vinegar with your morning glass of water
-Yes, this age ol’ myth works. It speeds up your metabolism!
 
9. Piggy Backing from #9. Be Sure To Drink Your Water!!
– If our bodies become dehydrated, we often feel hungry. Our bodies do this because we are more likely to act on the hunger sensation than thirst. Stay hydrated, Please.
 
10. Watching TV? Stand on every commercial.
Do a small bit of exercise while watching TV. Not only will this help you be more active, but being active will deter your mind from wanting to snack.
 
Have a healthy Day!

Resistance Bands 101

Do you get bored with the same equipment? Do you enjoy mixing up your routine?

I personally LOVE trying to exercises and new equipment because it keeps me from getting bored and also, our muscles need change to keep it from platuae-ing.

If you’ve never tried resistance bands before or you bought them but wasn’t sure what to do with them, I’ve created a top 10 list of beginner exercises to use a resistance band. I’m not saying these are easy. But this will be a base that you can build off of. Also, if you are participating in my Love Your Body FIT Guide, a few of these should look familiar 🙂

The Basics:

It’s important to choose the correct band for your level and the exercise you are doing. Bands come in different resistances. Think of it like different sizes of weights. Some are heavier and you can use with squats, other 2lb weights are lighter and you use them for shoulder raises, for example. Choose the resistance you need to feel the exercise but not strain yourself.

Make sure the band is secure before you stand or move. It’s important to secure the band while you are sitting and then either move to standing or begin the exercise. Adjusting the bands while we are standing can challenge our balance and cause us to fall. Please be careful.

If the band is around your foot, keep your foot flexed! A resistance band is essentially like a large rubber band. If you let go, it can hurt. Keep your foot flexed and the band in place.

As I always say – draw in your core, please!

Exercises

  1. Walking Squats

Adjust the band so that it is around your thighs.

Begin in proper squat position, knees behind the toes, sitting back in the glutes, chest up

Take a step to the right with your right foot, bring your left foot in

Walk 4 steps right then 4 steps left

WIN_20180214_13_13_40_ProRepeat until you’ve completed your full set

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Tricep Push Down

Just like the machine at the gym, but now you can do it at home!

Hold the band by your chest with your left hand

Place the right hand in the band with your palm down

Press down with your right hand to the right side of your body squeezing the back of your arm.

Complete a full set on this side, then switch to the other side

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3. Plank Kick Back

Adjust the bands to the proper height on your thigh

Begin in plank position – hands and elbows directly under shoulders, back in a straight line

Kick your right leg up to the sky, squeezing the back of your right leg

Return to plank

Kick your left leg up to the sky

Repeat alternating legs until you’ve completed the whole set

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4. Mountain Climber

Adjust the bands so that they are securely around your feet

Begin in plank position

Draw in your belly and bring your right knee in to your right elbow

Return to plank and switch

Left knee to left elbow

Continue alternating through your whole set

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5. Row in Plank

Place the band around your hands

Begin in plank position

Row your right elbow to the sky, squeezing your shoulder blades

Continue a full set with your right arm, then switch to the left

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6. Bridge with Open

Place the bands around your thighs

Begin laying on your back, knees to the sky

Squeeze your glutes and raise your low back off the mat

At the top, open your knees apart wide

Bring your knees back to center and lower down

Repeat

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7. Plank Walk

Place the bands around your wrists or hands

Begin in plank position

Walk with your right arm to the right, then left

Repeat until you’ve completed your full set

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8. Clam shells

The side of your booty will be on FIRE with this one.

Place the band around your thighs

Lay on your right side to begin

Bend your knees as pictured, left knee on top of left

Open the left knee away from the right knee

Hold at the top, then close

Do a full set on this side then turn over and repeat

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9. Lift and Lower

Place the bands on your thighs

Lay on your right side to begin

Lift the left leg up away from the right leg, keeping the town straight or pointed down

Lower the leg back to starting

Repeat a full set on this side, then turn to the other side

 

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10. Standing Kick Out and Back

Place the bands around your thighs

Stand with your shoulders back and belly drawn in

Kick your right leg out to the side slowly

Do at least 10 of these

Then extend your right leg back behind you, squeezing the back of the leg

After your set, switch to the other side.

 

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Resistance bands are amazing because with little movement, they add a big difference. A bridge without a heavy band, is much different than a bridge WITH a heavy band. Too, having these basics allows you to mix up your workout routine to avoid platuaes and keep your workouts fresh.

From these basics, you are equipped to created other movements such as squat jumps or twisting mountain climbers. The possibilities are endless. Just remember, stay safe and adjust while sitting.

 

Enjoy!

 

Best,

Emily Langlois, CPT

Emily Langlois is a Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor and founder of FITonYourTime.com

Visit FITonYourTime.com now!

Knock Knock

I heard this joke today and thought it was funny enough to share. Happy Tuesday!

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Ben.
Ben who?
Ben out of shape so I’m working out.

Shoulder Raise

Trainer Tip:

Lift the weights only to shoulder height
Squeeze the core to protect your low back
Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears
Be careful not to load the weight into your back when it get gets hard, use those shoulders! 🙂

 

 

Emily Langlois is a certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist and group fitness instructor. She founded FITonYourTime to help women achieve their weight-loss and

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muscle tone goals through 6-week exercise programs.

 

Best,

Emily Langlois

FITonYourTime.com

Why Am I Not Seeing Results? How To Break Your Plateau and Get The Results You Want

Our bodies are a basic equation of what goes in versus what is expended. How many calories you take in versus how many you work off. If there is a surplus of calories coming in compared to those we burn, we will gain weight. If we burn more than we take in, we will lose weight.

It is a myth that once we reach a certain level our bodies “stall”. We reach plateaus simply because our bodies learn to regulate the amount of calories coming in versus the amount of calories we work off.

Our bodies main goal is to keep us alive. In doing so, it will continuously try to adapt to what we do to it. It will adapts to exercise and to our surroundings.

To break the plateau then, we must break the adaption our body has learned. We change one side of the equation. You may either change the calories coming in or the calories going out.

Let’s first discuss calories coming in as nutrition tends to be a key question. Now, I’d like to start by outlining that I am a personal trainer, not a dietitian. It is in my scope to understand macro-nutrients and the effects they have on our bodies.

Simply put, before you begin questioning why a workout program isn’t working, be sure that you are eating according to your goals. You should be eating a proper balance of ALL macro-nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and selecting the foods that fuel your body. Under-eating as well as over-eating can limit the results you see. So take a sound look at your diet and be sure that you are fueling your body properly.

Calories are not all equal. Eating a 100 calorie bag of popcorn is not the same nutritionally as a chicken breast and broccoli. They might equal by calorie count but will have dramatically different effects on your health and goal achievement. So be sure you are eating the RIGHT foods, not simply calorie consumption.

The other side of the equation is calories burned. There is a basic level of calories you burn throughout the day in your daily life. Working, cooking, cleaning, running around with your kiddos all burn calories. When we talk about your activity level, your whole daily life should be accounted for. A busy mom of 4 kids who is also a kindergarten teacher will burn more calories than a single IT Director. Traditionally.

When it comes to your workout, you want to change your routines every 4 weeks so that you are continuously progressing. As I mentioned previously, our bodies are trying to adapt to keep us alive. It will soon learn your workouts and they will no longer push your muscles like it originally did. You must change your routine often to push yourself and create muscle confusion.

How can you change your workouts?

Changing your workouts can be changing exercises, selecting more difficult or more complex exercises that require more complex muscle engagement. Or you may change the pace of your workouts. Doing an exercise slower, for example, squatting down for a count of 4 and holding for 2 seconds, will engage the muscles in a different way than if you normally do a squat quickly. Conversely, if your normal routine involves slow squats, do squat jumps to increase its intensity.

This works for arms as well as squats. To increase the complexity of a bicep curl, for example, change the angle of the curl or increase the complexity of the curl to a 45 degree angle bicep curl followed with a hammer curl. This will intensify the base exercise of your program. You may slow this exercise down by bringing it up for 2 counts, hold for 2 counts then slowly and controlled lower for 4 counts.

As a summary, our bodies are an equation of what comes in versus what goes out. This can always be changed on either side to confuse the body and to see the results you want. You must be sure you are continuously monitoring both sides of the equation to align it to your goals.

 

 

Emily Langlois founded FITonYourTime.com to IMG_20170626_131130_045

train and inspire men and women to become healthier, happier and stronger every day. Visit FITonYourTime.com for a variety of Online Training options to Fit YOU and YOUR goals.

Emily Langlois

Work Your Core Without Low Back Pain

Low back pain can come from a variety of causes. If you live with this, you know how painful it is. It is made even more frustrating when you try to strengthen your core, become healthier, make steps in the right direction but every workout program you try ends up leaving you in worse pain the next day.

I hear you. I too used to suffer from low back pain since I was a young teenager. My spine is too far forward and sits too far to one side causing me severe pain down through my leg. Exercising takes away the pain because moving my back looses the tight muscles. Over-exercise or work the wrong muscles, however, and you’re back on your back – no pun intended.

You do not need to be held back by your pain! You deserve a workout program that is meant for you. One that will strengthen you and help you reach your goals and won’t leave you feeling worse than before.  The circuit below will strengthen your core including the muscles supporting your low back.

Of course, please always consult your physician if you have any questions or hesitations.

Core Circuit 1

By Emily Langlois

Bridge

  1. Lay on your back on your mat or padded floor20180110_190337
  2. Knees should be bent, feet hip width apart
  3. Push through your heels and draw in your core
  4. Lift your hips off the floor, keeping your back in a straight line
  5. Slowly lower back down to the ground
  6. Repeat

 

 

Plank

  1. Place your wrists on the ground under your shoulders
  2. Start with your knees on the ground and as you become stronger and ready —
  3. Lift your knees up from the ground drawing in your core keeping your back in a straight line20180110_190816
  4. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds

 

 

 

Side Plank

  1. Lay on your right side
  2. Place your right wrist on the ground in line
  3. Push up through your right wrist and up to your shoulder keeping your shoulder, wrist and elbow in a straight line
  4. Lift your hips off the ground to create a straight line with your body
    1. If needed to start, keep your right knee on the ground, still lifting up through the hips

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Plank V up

  1. Start in the Plank position from above
  2. Walk your feet in under your hips, drawing in your core and squeezing the low belly20180110_190844
  3. Hold for 2 seconds
  4. Walk your feet back out to a high plank
  5. Repeat

 

 

Knee In

  1. Start in a seated position at the front of a solid chair
  2. Sit tall, bringing your shoulders back
  3. Draw in your core
  4. Using your low belly bring your right knee in towards you
  5. Place the right foot back on the ground
  6. Lift the left knee towards you
  7. Repeat

 

Bird Dog

  1. Start on the ground with your hands and feet on the ground.
  2. Wrists should be directly under shoulders, knees under your hips, hip width apart
  3. Draw in your core and slowly raise your right leg back to the sky
  4. If you feel stable, lift your left arm up to reach parallel to the ground
  5. Lower your arm and leg to the ground20180110_190428
  6. Repeat lifting your left leg and right arm

 

 

 

 

Cobra

  1. Lay on a mat with your front side down on the ground, arms beside you on the mat
  2. Squeeze in through the core and lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground
  3. Hold as you lift through the whole upper body, strengthening your low back
    1. NOTE: Be sure not to collapse in your low back but think to lift everything up

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If you have questions or would like information about Online Personal Training, please complete the form below or visit FITonYourTime.com

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong. Stay Happy. Stay YOU!

About the Author:

Emily Langlois is an Online Personal Trainer specializing in custom workouts to fit YOU. Your current pains, age, time limits or other responsibilities can no longer hold you back! You have a workout program designed for YOU to fit in YOUR life.

Good pic I work with a variety of clients with the majority of them over 50 and/or have some type of chronic condition or injury causing them pain. I will help you find exercises for YOU to help you stay healthy, strong, happy and doing the things YOU love.

How Often Should I Work My Abs?

When you see a “fit” person, we always look to their stomach first, right? The vast majority of my clients measure their success on their waistline, ab definition, flatness of their stomach or some version of this. So of course, if the area we want the best results in is our abs, how often should we do ab exercises to see results?

A false myth is thinking you need to work your core every day in order to see results. Do you work other areas every day? Imagine 5 leg days in a row. Who wants to do that?!

Like any other muscle, you must give it rest in order for it to grow and recover. The magic is in both completing effective core exercises with proper form but ALSO giving it enough time to rest so you prevent injury, can work hard the next day and give the muscle time to grow during the recovery phase.

I recommend to clients looking to shred their midsection to complete full ab workouts no more than 3 times per week. Make sure these workouts are effective, reaching every muscle of your core and trust me, you will be begging for the rest days in between! Quicker than you think, you will start to see results. I also recommend completing Total Body Conditioning workouts if you are looking to see definition in your abs. Total Body workouts require you to use your upper and lower body at the same time. Thus, activating your core for stabilization. You won’t realize your working your core until the end when it is thanking you!

Subscribe to my email list and receive the BEST core exercises to see results!