Friday, January 2, 2009

Top home fitness trends for 2009

Finally, the New Year has arrived! And with it, for most of us at least, a little more weight to carry around. Fortunately, all the partying, big meals, cookies and candies are behind us for awhile. As with every other new year, most of us have probably made a personal vow to lose that extra weight we’ve gained over the last several weeks.

So what’s your plan to get back on track? Will you take up running, cycling, or maybe a brand new sport this year? Maybe you’re looking to get in shape for a big race or a backpacking trip later on this year?

Both the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine are predicting that fitness programs that take up less time and are easy on the pocketbook will be popular this year. Because of the tough economic times, more people will be working out in their homes. Some of the home fitness programs expected to be popular during this year include yoga, pilates, stability balls and kettlebells.

The following are some of the top fitness trends for getting back in shape in 2009.

Kettlebell Training

Kettlebell training involves the use iron weights to develop whole body fitness and core strength. Once the prized, and guarded training secret of elite Russian athletes, old-school strongmen and the military, the kettlebell has gained popularity in the West in recent years.

Looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle, kettlebell workouts are intended to increase strength, endurance, agility and balance, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular system with dynamic, total-body movements.

Thanks to former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor and strength author, Pavel Tsatsouline, for introducing the sport to America. Credit his publication of The Russian Kettlebell Challenge in 2001 and his manufacture of the first traditional Russian kettlebell for starting the Russian kettlebell revolution in the West. For more information on Pavel's training program and DVD, please click here. To purchase kettlebells, please click here.

Wii Fit

Wii Fit is an immensely popular video workout. It offers an extensive array of fun, dynamic and challenging activities, including aerobics, yoga, muscle stretches and balance oriented games. The focus of these activities is towards providing a "core" workout, a popular exercise method that emphasizes slower, controlled motions. The Wii Fit program allows you to keep tabs on your daily progress with easy-to-understand graphs and charts. A total of 647 Amazon customers have rated this 4.5 stars out of 5. Please click here for more information on Wii Fit.

P90X Extreme Home Fitness

The P90X system is a set of DVD workouts which involve body-weight moves (like push-ups, pull-ups, plyometric moves, etc) as well as cardio and weight training cycles. In addition to enough exercise space, the equipment you’ll need for this system are free-weights of varying sizes, a chin-up bar/station and a yoga mat and blocks. Some people also use bands, as well as push-up bars.

The secret behind the P90X system is an advanced training technique called "Muscle Confusion," which accelerates the results process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so your body never plateaus, and you never get bored. The set of 13 DVDs in this set include workouts for Chest & Back, Plyometrics, Shoulders & Arms, Yoga X, Legs & Back, Kenpo X, Stretch X, Core Synergistics, Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Back & Biceps, Cardio X, Ab Ripper X, and finally, How to Bring It. For more information on the P90X system, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Stability Balls

Stability balls are often referred to by a number of different names, including exercise ball, balance ball, fitness ball, pilates ball, sports ball, Swiss ball, or yoga ball. No matter what you call them, the primary benefit of exercising with a ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface, is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, thus engaging many more muscles while doing so. Those muscles become stronger over time in order to keep balance. Core body muscles (abdominal and back muscles) are the focus of exercise ball fitness programs. Stability Balls are quickly becoming a standard item for any home gym. To purchase a stability ball, please click here.

If you’re looking for effective Stability Ball home workouts, instructor Kimberly Spreen has developed 5 distinctive workouts, each one specially designed to tighten and tone your body. Voted Top Workout of 2006 by Natural Health Magazine, this DVD allows you to split the 10 minute sections into 5 separate workouts, or mix and match to hit your own unique problem areas - or do all of them together. For more information on the DVD, please click here.

Suspension Training

A suspension trainer is essentially a pair of straps with handles that you attach to any overhead point, such as a beam, tree limb or door. Part of your body is off the ground on every exercise. For example, you can do push-ups or squats holding the handles or put your feet in the handles and do crunches.

Jeff Halevy, personal trainer and fitness coach, predicts suspension training will continue to catch on. "It's part of this whole functional training movement," says Halevy. "Why athletes like it so much is because it replicates real life activities." While many pro sports teams and fighters use suspension trainers, such as the TRX, regular people are working out with them, he says.

The basic idea for the TRX Suspension Trainer was first conceived by U.S. Navy SEAL team member Randy Hetrick, who sought to devise a reliable training system to keep himself and his fellow SEALs in peak condition while deployed for weeks at a time in remote locales. For Hetrick, portability, versatility, and durability were absolutely essential.

Hetrick also realized a basic premise of bodyweight training, that the weight of the body itself could be used as a form of resistance to build superior levels of strength.

The complete TRX Suspension Trainer system includes a waterproof fold-out mat, training guide, instruction DVD, and a handy storage bag so that you can stay fit at home or on the road. Please click here for more information on this product.


Finally, Amazon is currently offering numerous specials on their website to help with all of your New Year's resolutions, from losing weight and getting in shape, to fixing your finances or quitting smoking.

Please click here to see all of Amazon’s New Year's Resolution specials and bargains.

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

1 comment:

steve said...

Good list! How about the 200 Sit-Ups Challenge?