To Train With Ozzie

Ozzie’s extensive training in injury prevention, weight management and yoga can help you reach any fitness goal! One of Ozzie’s long time clients explains how Ozzie has helped her develop an effective fitness plan.

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Rising Warrior

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, presents an empowering Yoga Sequence to help you channel the “warrior within”!

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Last chance: Beach body

One more month left until summer officially comes to a close!

  • Have you frolicked on the beach in your bikini or swim trunks?
  • Did tourists on the beach mistake you for a swimsuit model?
  • Did you feel comfortable enough to sit around half naked in the sun this summer?

If you answered “no” to these questions or if your beach body dreams didn’t pan out like you thought they would then you are not alone. Work obligations, limited time and procrastination are the usual culprits that prevent us from achieving our beach body but the good thing is that you have four weeks to turn it around!   Four weeks may not seem like a long time but with a strategic fitness program, your beach body may be within reach before the summer ends.

Check out Part 1 of Ozzie’s Beach Body Challenge to help you reach your fitness goals!

In addition to incorporating a great workout routine, make sure your eating habits are up to par.

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Train: The spine

Each time we stand up straight to walk to our car, embrace a loved one or shake our body on the dance floor we should thank our spine. Every day our spine and its surrounding musculature battle the force of gravity to keep us erect.

Our spine is in its happiest and most comfortable position when we mindfully sit up or stand up with proper posture. The reality for most of us, however, is that our posture will suffer when we sit at our desk hunched over computers and slouched in chairs. These hard to break habits are the consequence of failing to listen to our mothers’ constant nagging (“Sit up straight!”). In this position our spine is at a disadvantage and the surrounding musculature cannot work in harmony. The resulting imbalance causes excessive tightness in one area and corresponding weakness in the opposing muscle groups.

As the hours, days and years pass the situation gets worse and our body starts to conform to this new posture, which can cause major issues such as herniated discs/bulging discs (in the low back and neck), excessive tightness in the chest, headaches and an inability to sit/stand up straight (the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” look has never been attractive).

The spinal musculature, like any other muscle group, will benefit from a program that incorporates strength and flexibility. Check out the following video for some great exercises to incorporate into your fitness routine today!

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Yoga: Hips & Spine

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, presents a yoga sequence to open your hips and strengthen your spinal musculature!

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Chaturanga to Cobra

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, demonstrates Chaturanga and Cobra to strengthen your upper body and open your chest.

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Weight loss: Made easy

“Calories consumed” must be less than “calories burned”, this is the simple equation that is essential to reach your weight loss goals.  Oftentimes, the simple concepts (like this one) are the ones we struggle with the most.  Your trainer or the fitness guru on TV makes it seem so simple “just stop eating the junk food”, “get to the gym”, “make the commitment”.  Oh, if it could be so easy……

The fact is that weight loss is hard because there are a variety of different variables that often stand in our way.  One of the major causes for our demise is our environment and how we respond to it.

1. Our surroundings…. On every corner chances are that there is a fast food joint or tasty restaurant that is calling your name.  This restaurant will often carry your favorite guilty pleasure (i.e. french fries, cakes, cookies and the list goes on). So when you’re hungry for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack before you go home your primal urges kick in (especially if you haven’t eaten in the past 4-5 hours).

Solution: Keep yourself stocked with tasty (and healthy snacks) and eat small meals every 2 hours.  This way you can control those primal urges since you would’ve already had your fill of nutritious foods.

2. Our relationships…. Most would agree that when your “love boat” starts to sink, ice cream and chocolate are great flotation devices.  Drowning a broken heart in chocolate and cookies seems like a good idea at the time but what sense does it make to lose your man and lose your waistline at the same time?

Solution: Don’t sulk in the kitchen, go out and enjoy yourself.  Burn off the stress with a night of dancing on the town!

3. Our expectations…. When we make the decision to change our lifestyle we don’t consider “the spectrum”.  The spectrum of eating healthy consists of eating super clean (think physique competitor/fitness model) and eating really bad (think “junk food junkie”). As a result, we try to eat perfectly and end up falling off the wagon.

Solution: We must cut ourselves some slack and not expect to make a “180” in 2 days. Small steps result in large gains, because small steps are feasible building blocks that lead to long-term changes that last.

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Train(Like an athlete): Stability ball

The stability ball can be used for a number of exercises that sculpt the body and challenge the core.

Check out the following exercises to tone your core and sculpt a rock hard physique:

  1. Stability Ball Push Up – Begin with shoelaces on the stability ball, align your wrists under your shoulders and firm your abs and legs tight.  Inhale as you bend your arms toward 90 degrees and exhale as you straighten your arms (forcefully drawing the abdominals and thighs toward the ceiling).
  2. Knee Unders – Draw the knees toward your chest and release them (to straighten the body) before each push up.  As you draw the knees underneath you, pull the abdominals toward the ceiling.  When you straighten your body to the starting position keep the abs and thighs rock solid.
  3. Pike – This is a great modification for the experienced exerciser that would like to add in some shoulder work. Lead this exercise by drawing the abdominals toward the sky as you exhale. Use this strength to align yourself in a “pike position” (wrists under shoulders, shoulders under hips).  On an inhale, straighten the body to the starting position as you look forward beyond your fingertips.  This exercise requires an intense abdominal contraction that essentially lifts your body toward the ceiling as the rest of the body stays firm and strong.
  4. Pike w/Hip Extension – this is a great modification for the advanced exerciser that challenges flexibility and builds strength in the glutes, abdominals and shoulders.  After completing the pike hold the arms, abs and right leg steady as you lift the left leg toward the ceiling on an inhale.  The only way this move can happen is if your entire body is engaged.  Consider trying this exercise with a spotter (that can hold the ball steady).
  5. Runner’s Lunge – this intermediate exercise also calls for total body strength and balance.  Begin with the shoelaces of your right foot on the ball and the left leg grounded.  Inhale as you extend the right leg behind you and bend the left knee. As you exhale push through the left heel and firmly draw your abdominals in to stand tall.  Increase the intensity by starting in plank, bring one leg underneath you and lift the torso to get into position (this version requires a great deal of flexibility).

Do 3 sets and 4 reps of each exercise, as you get stronger increase the reps to 8 or 10.  Please note that this is a pretty intense routine, so for the first few times have a spotter with you and listen to your body (if it doesn’t feel right, back off).

Enjoy!!

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Train: Stability Ball (Core)!

Ozzie Jacobs, Health and Fitness Expert, presents another addition to her Train series!  Stability Ball (Core) will tighten your abdominals and sculpt a lean and mean physique!

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Train (Like an athlete): Push ups

Energize your upper body routine with push up variations

Elite athletes, the military, martial artists and dancers all have one thing in common.  They use their body to sculpt an amazing physique.

The challenge to lift and control your body weight can be what stands between you and the body of your dreams.  Machines tend to isolate one muscle group, free weights allow you to use your body to manipulate an object while using a single body part as leverage (i.e. shoulder press) or multiple body parts (i.e squat to shoulder press).

Body weight exercises such as push ups, pull ups, lunges, mountain climbers, etc. challenge you to carry the resistance of your weight, activate stabilizing musculature to keep form, engage the core for balance and encourage proper range of motion and flexibility as you sculpt a sexy physique.

Incorporate body weight exercises into your routine today!  Begin with the “push up” and progress it to the following variations:

1.  The Push Up

  • The Push Up is the ultimate show of total body strength. Contrary to popular belief, Push Ups are not just about the upper body it is about your entire body’s ability to work together. If the core isn’t strong, the torso sinks to the floor. If the legs aren’t engaged, the lower body sinks to the floor. So if the entire body isn’t working together then you end up dragging your body up with your chest (not the best strategy).

2. The “Floating” Push Up

  • A variation that can get your “team” of muscles working together. Start in Push Up position and both legs firm (flex quads and glutes) bring your right knee under the chest and then straighten the right leg out as if you were pushing the wall behind you with the sole of your foot. Keep the right leg lifted so it “floats” about 4 inches from the floor and complete a Push Up. Place the right foot down on the floor and repeat on the other side. Say hello to your core and legs! Protect your low back by resting if it starts to engage.

3.  The “Mountain Climber” Push Up

  • Spread your legs wider than shoulder width apart.  Bring the right knee underneath you and extend the right leg back to starting position as you drive the left knee underneath you.  Extend the left leg back to starting position and complete a push up.

Train like an athlete by completing 3-5 reps of each version for 3 sets.  Check out my video, TRAIN: Push Ups for a demonstration.

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