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Strength/Resistance

Plank Variations

By Stephanie Vlach, MS | February 19, 2019 |

Forearm plank, side plank, plank with hip dips—all are group exercise favorites. The plank is one of the most familiar and effective choices for core work, and it’s an easy addition. However, how many times can you program that same old plank? Fortunately, with a little creativity, a basic plank can be amazingly versatile. Just add simple movements and a little resistance to make an already challenging move even more interesting and effective.

The following variations are best for participants who can hold a plank with
good form for at least a minute.

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Peak Neuromuscular Power for Your Athlete Clients

By Len Kravitz, PhD | February 13, 2019 |

STUDIES REVIEWED: Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011a. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 1—Biological basis of maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (1), 17–38.

Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011b. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 2—Training considerations for improving maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (2), 125–46.

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Resistance Exercise and Heart Health

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | February 11, 2019 |

“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes could be effective [in reducing heart disease risks], according to study author DC Lee, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, Ames.

Researchers analyzed data collected over 19 years from more than 12,000 male and female adult participants in The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study conducted at the Cooper Clinic™ in Dallas.

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Exercise Program Can Restore Heart Muscle Health

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | January 11, 2019 |

Good news for people who have delayed starting a training program. If the following exercise regimen is begun before age 65, studies show that the heart muscle can regain elasticity, reversing stiffening that can develop from lack of physical activity. Cardiologists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources in Dallas have been studying how to promote health and elasticity of the heart muscle.

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Muscle Mass as a New Vital Sign

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | January 11, 2019 |

Fitness professionals understand the importance of building and maintaining lean body mass for functional mobility and health. New research shows that medical professionals should also be promoting this message to their patients. “Muscle mass should be looked at as a new vital sign,” said principal investigator Carla Prado, PhD, RD, associate professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. “If healthcare professionals identify and treat low muscle mass, they can significantly improve their patients’ health outcomes.

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Sample Class: Sand Bell HIIT

By Pamela Light, MA | December 12, 2018 |

More flexible and variable than dumbbells or kettlebells, sand bells are sand-filled disks that can be lifted, slammed, tossed, curled, or flipped like a heavy pancake. The following playful workout mixes high-intensity cardio and strength training with two levels of progression, creating a user-friendly class for any participant.

Sand Bell HIIT Details
FORMAT: strength and cardio conditioning
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

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Balance and Stability

By Sarah Schrenk, MS | October 18, 2018 |

Balance, which is essential for integrated movement, declines as we age. However, you can teach group fitness students how to maintain balance while also taking them through some fun, creative core exercises. Having a strong trunk and hip complex helps us maintain balance for years to come. In your next class, incorporate these multiplanar exercises targeting the core musculature and the gluteals. Each move is done in a standing position, and equipment is optional. Encourage attendees who struggle with balance to perform these exercises against a wall or while holding onto a barre.

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Stay Strong to Increase Longevity

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | October 12, 2018 |

Here’s more motivation to stay on top of your functional strength training program. Researchers from China and Indiana University analyzed data from 4,449 older adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that older people with low muscle strength had more than twice the risk of dying during the study than those with normal muscle strength.

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Weight Training’s Surprising Effects on Depression

By Ryan Halvorson | September 20, 2018 |

Could a cure for depression be found in the weight room? Data from a study published in JAMA Psychiatry (2018; 75 [6], 566–76) points to that conclusion. The meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials, featuring 1,877 participants, found a link between resistance training (RET) and a reduction in depressive symptoms.

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The Importance of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

Substance use disorder can wreak havoc on people’s lives. Fitness activity can be a
transformative way for those in recovery to heal, rebuild their lives and find a community of healthy supporters.
According to a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in 2011, patients with substance use disorder who exercised while in recovery reported feeling greater strength, improved health, a sense of accomplishment, and increased confidence about staying clean and sober.

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Comprehensive Research Project on How to Create an Exercise Habit

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

24 Hour Fitness® is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania Behavior Change for Good Initiative [BCFG] to support research into what works best for creating lasting exercise habits. With an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned researchers, the BCFG addresses the broader question of how to make positive behavior change stick in aspects of life related to health, education and savings.

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