This $15 Product Makes Even the Most Unwearable Shoes Comfortable

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com. 

Getting a new pair of shoes has always been a bittersweet occasion for me. Once the joy of finding that perfect pair—and the tiny, happy rush of the purchase—has worn off, I’m left to grapple with the comfort conundrum: those awful initial wears before your new shoes are broken in (or is it your feet that need breaking in?). Whether it’s the highest heels or the lowest flats, I’ve yet to find a pair that doesn’t literally rub me the wrong way, from the common heel blister, to the painful chafing on the tops of my toes, to those more unexpected issues like booties that bite at the ankle.

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That all changed after I hobbled into the office after a full day of running around New York City to different Fashion Week shows—in heels, of course (it’s a hazard of the job). Our kind associate fashion editor, Flavia Nunez, took pity on my poor feet, dug into her bag, and produced a small miracle.

A seasoned marathon runner, Flavia knows a thing or two about blisters (and shoes) and, thankfully, how to prevent and treat them. The product she handed over is from a brand called Compeed, that, unlike other bandage companies, focuses almost exclusively on blisters. At $9 for a pack of six, they’re a little more expensive than a traditional pack of self-adhesive strips, but hear me out—they’re well worth it. According to their website, the products “use hyrdrocolloid technology that fits like a second skin and stays on all day long.” They’re not kidding. The blister cushions certainly do feel like a second skin, are waterproof, adhere smoothly, do not budge, roll, or wrinkle, and will stay on for days, until you pull them off yourself. You’d probably spend the same amount on bandages that wind up needing to be constantly replaced.

RELATED: 8 Stylish, Comfortable Sandals for Walking All Day

I now keep the conveniently-sized packs in my purse at all times. I'll pop one on at the first sign of chafing or rubbing, but the tiny pads also prevent blisters from happening in the first place—and instantly make the shoe in question wearable. Taking more unorthodox measures, I’ve also used the larger size on the balls of my feet for shoes that don’t have enough padding, put on a double layer to cushion an already-existing blister (immediate relief), and cut the cushions to size to fit an oddly shaped contour or wrap more neatly around a tormented toe.

They can be a little tricky to find in stores, but luckily we have Amazon for that—and yes, they are qualify for Prime.

Source: Mind-Body

5 Things To Know About The Health Issue That Could Shut Down The Government

This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News. 

Congress must pass a bill this week to keep most of the government running beyond Friday, when a government spending bill runs out. It won’t be easy.

The debate over a new spending bill focuses on an esoteric issue affecting the Affordable Care Act.

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The question is whether Congress will pass — and President Donald Trump will sign — a bill that also funds subsidies for lower-income people who purchase health insurance under the law. These “cost-sharing reductions” (CSR) have become a major bargaining point in the negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, because the spending bill will require at least some Democratic votes to pass.

Here are five things to know about these cost-sharing subsidies: 

How are these subsidies different from the help people get to purchase insurance?

There are two types of financial aid for people who buy insurance from an ACA exchange. People with incomes up to four times the poverty line, or $81,680 for a family of three, are eligible for tax credits to help pay their premiums.

RELATED: Millions of Women Don’t Have Access to Fertility Treatments in the U.S.

In addition to that help, people with incomes up to two-and-a-half times the poverty line, or $51,050 for a family of three, get additional subsidies to help pay their out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and copayments for care, as long as they purchase a silver-level plan. Insurance companies are required in their contracts with the government to provide these cost-sharing reductions to eligible people, then get reimbursed by the government.

Why are cost-sharing reductions suddenly front and center?

The fight dates to 2014, when Republicans in the House of Representatives filed suitagainst the Obama administration, charging that Congress had not specifically appropriated money for the cost-sharing subsidies and therefore the administration was providing the funding illegally.

A year ago, a federal district court judge ruled that the House was correct and ordered the payments stopped. However, she put that ruling on hold while the Obama administration appealed. That’s where things stood when Trump was inaugurated.

If the Trump administration drops the appeal, the funding would cease. However, Congress could also opt to approve funding the payments, which is what Democrats are pushing in the spending bill. 

RELATED: The Scary Reason Healthy People Die After an ER Visit

What would happen if these subsidies are stopped?

At the very least, ending the cost-sharing reductions in the middle of the year would cause a serious disruption in the insurance market. The payments are estimated at $7 billion this year, and $10 billion in 2018. They cover about 7 million people, about 58 percent of those purchasing coverage on the exchanges.

Many experts have predicted that if the subsidies end, some or all insurers might leave their markets entirely, leaving consumers with fewer, or possibly no, choices.

But even if they stay, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that insurers would have to raise premiums on the marketplace silver plans by an average of 19 percent in order to offset that loss of government reimbursement. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Ironically, ending the subsidies would actually cost the federal government more money. Premium increases to make up for the lost payments would in turn trigger bigger tax credits for the broader population eligible for help paying their premiums. Those larger tax credits would cost the federal government an estimated $2.3 billion above what it would save on the cost reduction subsidies next year, KFF projected.

RELATED: Repealing Obamacare Would Take Insurance Away From 32 Million Americans and Double Premiums

Who is pushing Congress to fund the subsidies?

In addition to Democrats in Congress who support the ACA, influential health-related groups are urging lawmakers to fund the cost-sharing reductions.

The coalition, which includes America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, points out that the uncertainty surrounding the future of the promised payments could not only disrupt this year’s insurance market, but next year’s as well.

“The window is quickly closing to properly price individual insurance products for 2018,” the groups wrote to Congress on April 12. Most insurers must decide whether they will participate in the health law’s market in 2018 by late June.

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Most Americans don’t support cutting the subsidies as part of a GOP strategy to force Democrats in Congress to help pass a new health law. A new poll reported 60 percent of those surveyed said the president “should not use negotiating tactics that could disrupt insurance markets and cause people to lose health coverage.” On the other hand, two-thirds of Republicans surveyed said Trump “should use whatever negotiating tactics necessary to win support for a replacement plan.”

What does the Trump administration think about this?

Good question. Trump and senior health officials have offered conflicting positions.

On April 10, unnamed officials told the New York Times and other outlets that the administration “is willing to continue paying subsidies” while the lawsuit remains pending, just as the Obama administration did. The next day, however, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services disavowed that statement, saying that “the administration is currently deciding its position on this matter.”

RELATED: The Surprising Thing That Builds Trust Among Neighbors

The day after that, Trump himself said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he was holding back a decision on the payments as leverage. “I don’t want people to get hurt,” he said. “What I think should happen — and will happen — is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”

By the following week, administration officials were dangling the funding for the cost-sharing reductions in the spending bill as a trade for Trump’s request for funding for a border wall. “We don’t like those [subsidies] very much, but we have offered to open the discussions to give the Democrats something they want in order to get something we want,” budget director Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday. “We’d offer them $1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments.”

Democrats, however, are not buying what the administration is selling. “The White House gambit to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, in order to force American taxpayers to foot the bill for a wall that the president said would be paid for by Mexico is a complete non-starter,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a written statement.

Complicating matters further, it is far from clear that Republicans in Congress want to end the cost-sharing payments.

The subsidies are “a commitment made by the government to the insurers and the people,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said at a town hall meeting in his district, according to The Washington Post. “That needs to happen.”

 Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Source: Mind-Body

Woman Says She Had 'No Body Confidence' When She Was 98 Lbs. and Feels Better with Muscles & Curves

This article originally appeared on People.com. 

Bethany Tomlinson didn’t feel comfortable with her naturally thin frame, and says gaining muscle definition and curves has helped her to feel better about her body than ever before.

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“I just had no body confidence,” the U.K. university student, 22, tells PEOPLE of her former 7 stone (about 98 lbs.) self. “I picked on myself in the mirror and really tore myself apart.”

Tomlinson says comparing herself to other people on social media added to her insecurity.

“Social media can be really self destructive for young girls in terms of living up to idolized body types and specific looks,” she says.

But it also served as her inspiration when she decided she wanted to start building muscle.

RELATED: 5 Mantras for a Happier, Calmer, More Confident You

“I found some fitness models on Instagram such as Katy Hearn and really fell in love with their more muscular curvy appearance,” says Tomlinson. “I saw their before pictures and they looked similar to me. I was inspired to see how much I could change myself with weight training.”

The business and marketing student began lifting light weights and working her way up to more heavy strength training.

“In terms of exercise, I just pushed and challenged myself more in terms of getting stronger and lifting heavier,” says Tomlinson. “I can now squat double my body weight — this has taken years of consistency and self motivation. My training now consists of lots of compound work like squats and deadlifts followed by isolation work for my glutes and specific areas of my body I would like to improve and grow.”

RELATED: Tracy Anderson Talks Body Confidence, Boosting Your Metabolism, and the Best Advice J.Lo Gave Her

She also had to overhaul her diet. Even though Tomlinson was thin, she had never put an emphasis on healthy eating before.

“[I started] eating a lot more food to curb my fast metabolism,” she said. “I also ate a lot of bad unhealthy food beforehand in hopes it would help me gain weight. What I needed to do was up my intake, but with wholesome, balanced foods with adequate protein, carbohydrate and fat sources.”

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Two-and-a-half years after beginning her transformation, Tomlinson has put on 21 lbs. of muscle and says she feels “massively” more confident.

“But this is not just about my body and how I look — it’s how I feel mentally,” she says. “This journey has lead me to self-acceptance within my body and personally as an individual too. It’s totally changed my life in every aspect.”

Source: Mind-Body

For a Mid-Day Energy Boost, Choose the Stairs Over Soda

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com. 

The next time you feel a 3 p.m. slump coming on, skip the vending machine and head to the stairwell instead. According to a brilliant new study, 10 minutes of stair-walking is better for energy levels and work motivation than the amount of caffeine in a can of soda.

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For the new research, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, University of Georgia researchers wanted to measure the effects of a simple exercise that could be done in a typical office setting where sedentary workers may only have a few minutes at a time for breaks.

So they enrolled 18 female college students, all of whom reported being chronically sleep deprived, and conducted workplace simulations on three separate days. On two of the days, the participants took capsules containing either 50 mg caffeine (about the equivalent to a can of cola) or a placebo. The other day, they spent 10 minutes walking up and down stairs at a low-intensity pace.

RELATED: Fergie and Josh Duhamel Swear by This Power Smoothie for All-Day Energy

After each intervention, the women were given verbal and computer-based tests to gauge their mood and their performance on certain cognitive tasks. Neither the caffeine nor the exercise caused large improvements in attention or memory. But the women did exhibit a small increase in motivation levels after walking the stairs, compared to a decrease after having caffeine or placebo pills.

Co-author Patrick J. O’Connor, a professor in UGA’s department of kinesiology, says the women also felt slightly more energetic after hitting the stairs. “It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise,” he said in a press release. “But with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn’t get as big an effect."

There’s been plenty of research showing that exercising for 20 minutes or more can boost energy levels, the authors wrote in their paper, but this appears to be the first study to look at such a short period of stair walking. They point out that feelings of fatigue were not significantly improved after either intervention, and say that longer bouts of exercise may be required to produce lasting effects. They also note that taking walking breaks outdoors, or with other people, may provide further mood-enhancing benefits.

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And of course, the authors aren’t suggesting that a quick burst of exercise is all you need for overall health. They say more studies are needed to determine the specific benefits of stair-walking—although previous research has shown that spending just 10 minutes on the stairs, three times a week, can have real cardiovascular benefits.

Still, it’s good to know that this quick, zero-calorie energy booster is there when you need it; it’s also free and, in most workplaces, accessible rain or shine. And with recent news linking both regular and diet soda to negative effects on the brain, it’s nice to have an option that’s been shown to work just as well, if not better, than caffeine.

“It’s an option to keep some fitness while taking a short break from work,” said O’Connor. “You may not have time to go for a swim, but you might have 10 minutes to walk up and down the stairs.”

Source: Mind-Body

ADONIS BELT WORKOUT

The Adonis Belt Workout

Brad Pitt owes modern men an apology. We’ve always been under a certain pressure to look good. To firm up any midriff wobble, turn moobs into muscle. But we had leeway. Our onscreen icons were fit, but rarely ripped. At least, not in a way most men would ever want to attain. Arnie may have ushered in the action hero man mountain, but that was always a physique to marvel at, not try to build. We have to fit into our shirts, after all.

So we picked men like James Bond to base our bodies on. Men who were fit, yes, but not fit. Not you-could-grate-cheddar-on-these-abs fit. Connery looked like he could outrun you, but not like he’d shrinkwrapped his six-pack. And then along came Brad.

Pitt’s Fight Club physique is still the one every PT is asked to build. Definition, not size. Every muscle on show, as if he modelled Tyler Durden’s body on a medical diagram. There’s the six-pack, sure. But that’s just a side dish. Ask any straight woman or gay man and the element to analyse is the one that flanks the abs, the V-cut where obliques end and pelvis begins.

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This anatomical quirk has a few names. Officially, it’s the inguinal crease. Art historians know it as the iliac furrow (classical sculptors got there a few millennia before Pitt). To bodybuilders, it’s the Adonis belt. In Urban Dictionary, look up CGs (or, rather, don’t). But there’s only one way to get it on show: drop body fat.

Just like you have a six-pack, you have an Adonis belt. It’s just that, currently, it’s buried beneath all those lamb madrases. Strength training can only do so much. To get Brad Pitt’s Fight Club definition you need to strip away what’s on top. And according to Leo Savage, PT at luxury London gym Third Space, that means sprints.

Pair a veg-and-chicken-heavy diet with high intensity sprints and you’ll get your body fat below 10 per cent, which is – for most men – when the Adonis belt appears. Rotational core moves will then push you over the line. Just remember the first rule of having an Adonis belt: at least try not to tell everybody.

The Inguinal Crease Workout

Perform this workout three times a week, with at least a day between each. You can either bolt it onto the end of your normal workouts or do it as a standalone session.

Perform each move as a circuit, moving between exercises after each set, without rest. After the rollouts, take 60 seconds breather, then repeat, for five rounds total.

Woodchop

12 Reps (Each Side)
Grab a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands. Twist to the right and hold it above your head, arms straight. Chop down and rotate to the left, finishing with the ball near the ground outside your left foot. Return to the start position and repeat.

After all your reps, swap sides.

Alternating V-sits

30 Seconds
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring your legs and shoulders off the floor, so your body forms a flattened V. Slowly lift your left leg higher, then lower it as you lift your right leg. Keep alternating your legs for the prescribed time.

Rotational Leg Raises

30 Seconds
Lie on your back with your arms stretched out by your shoulders, palms down. Keeping your legs straight, lift them off the floor until they form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Slowly lower them to the left until they almost touch the floor, then change the direction of rotation away from you so they finish with your body in a straight line.

Reverse and repeat on the right side.

Abs Rollout

12 Reps
Grab an abs rollout wheel (if your gym doesn’t have one, you can use a towel on a smooth floor). Set up on your hands and knees, holding the wheel. Keeping your back straight, roll out until your chest is almost touching the floor. Pause, then return. That’s one rep.

Sprints

Sprint at 100 per cent effort for 30 seconds, then stop completely. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this on-off sprint split 10 times round.

BEST TYPE OF EXERCISE FOR AGING MUSCLES

Aging can do a number on your muscles. After you turn 30, you start to slowly lose your bigger fast-twitch muscle fibers that make you lean, defined, and athletic. And your muscles even age at a cellular level with a decline in the number and quality of your mitochondria, the powerhouse of your cells.

But a recent study from Cell Metabolism discovered that certain forms of exercise may increase muscle mass and mitochondrial density, particularly with people 64 and over.

Not surprisingly, resistance training increased muscle mass and strength for all subjects. And cardio HIIT (high intensity interval training) improved the age-related decline in mitochondria. This study validates what we’ve known along, that it takes a strategic combination of strength and cardio work to maximize your fitness and age like a fine wine.

In fact, we’ve covered this potent strength and aerobic combination before with The Russian Fat Loss Workout, one of our most popular Men’s Health workouts of all-time.

The big takeaway here is that you need to adequately hit your fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers to both maximize muscle growth and fight the aging process.

Studies have shown that when it comes to muscle growth, the best results are achieved by using a mix of low, medium, and high reps. And the same things that build muscle also help slow the loss of it.

But don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you can only hit your fast-twitch fibers with heavy strength training and your slow-twitch fibers with cardio. The degree to which you target certain muscle fibers depends on the speed and intensity of the exercise in addition to the rest time between work sets.

Traditionally we’ve been told that fast-twitch fibers get hit with heavy loads or moderately heavy loads moved explosively with longer rest periods between sets, and slow-twitch fibers get hit with lighter loads at slower speeds and with shorter rest periods between sets. In addition, you will recruit your lower threshold slow-twitch fibers first and the higher threshold fast-twitch fibers then kick in later as needed to keep you moving.

But another recent study shows that no matter the rep range, as long as the effort is there and you are pushing close to muscular failure, the full spectrum of muscle fibers, both fast and slow, will get worked. So you can accomplish your muscle-building goals with heavier loads and lower reps or with lighter loads and higher reps as long you are pushing to the limit.

Now, heavy lifting can be tough on the body as you get older. Your central nervous system takes more time to recover between sessions from heavier loading and your joints can only take so much wear and tear. Plus, heavy lifting doesn’t adequately stimulate your mitochondria, which will decline with age and are critical for overall health and performance.

That’s why I’m huge believer in what I call “metabolic bodybuilding.” It can hit all of your muscle fibers while simultaneously increasing your mitochondria, all while using much lighter loads than normal. Metabolic bodybuilding involves using longer, higher-rep timed sets to stimulate muscle and mitochondrial growth via metabolic stress, or the accumulation of the acidic waste materials from exercise that causes your muscles to swell and burn. In this way, this revolutionary style of training spares your joints, is easier to recover from, and can be done with minimal equipment setups at home or in a hotel gym. In fact, I created a total body transformation system around this style of exercise with my METASHRED EXTREME program from Men’s Health.

For example, doing 2-minute time-under-tension sets with resistance training exercises like squats, pushups, or biceps curls using a slow and controlled tempo and with rest periods of 60 seconds or less is one of my favorite ways to boost muscle and mitochondria. Plus, it will get and keep your heart rate up.

Here’s a video of me showing this protocol with a hack squat machine:

Blood-flow restriction (BFR) training is another research-proven metabolic stress method that we use in Men’s Health‘s METASHRED EXTREME to hit fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers using loads that are as low as 20 percent of your one-rep max.

Here’s a video of me showing some BFR training for the arms:

The bottom line is that the best exercise for aging muscles is either a combination of strength and interval training, or a fusion of the two with metabolic bodybuilding. Either way, you’ll be drinking from the fountain of youth and still getting gains in your golden years.

SHOULDER EXERCISE

This exercise shown in the video below is called the landmine lateral raise and it should be a staple in your shoulder training.

I first saw this shoulder-friendly exercise back in the day from trainer Ben Bruno.

It uses what’s called a “landmine” setup by placing one end of a barbell into either a specialized landmine post (like you can find here at Rogue Fitness) or into a corner of a wall. Then you grab the other end of the barbell to perform a lateral raise or an endless number of other exercises (click here to see 63 landmine exercises).

What’s so great about this move?

The unique arching path of the bar hits all 3 heads of the deltoids: front, side and rear. Plus, it develops the often neglected lower traps, which are responsible for pulling your scapula down. It’s also a great way to strengthen the rotator cuff and promote optimum shoulder health and performance.

I recommend 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps. Use it either as a warmup or for some accessory work after heavier compound exercises like overhead presses and pullups.

Be sure to control the lowering portion to get the most out of this move. And go with just the bar or a lighter bar in the beginning—this exercise is surprisingly difficult.

 

5 TOTAL-BODY WORKOUTS

total body workouts with one piece of equipmentIn a crowded gym, you can forget complicated training sessions that involve using multiple pieces of equipment. Your solution: Snag whatever tool you can find, follow this guide, and you might be surprised to get an even better workout than you planned.

By not switching from equipment to equipment you’ll cut down on unnecessary rest, packing in more reps in less time, which jacks up your heart rate and works your muscles harder. The result: Less fat, more muscle. (Bonus: These workouts are great for a minimalist home gym, too.)

Designed by three different New York City-based fitness experts, these workouts utilize either a barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, sandbag, or suspension trainer. Prepare for your most efficient workout ever.

KETTLEBELL DOUBLE-SHOT WORKOUT

Kettlebell Double-Shot Workout
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KETTLEBELL DOUBLE-SHOT WORKOUT

Equipment: Two kettlebells

Time: 15 Minutes

Trainer: Todd Cambio, C.S.C.S., StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor

Directions: Do the exercises in the order shown, without resting between exercises. Rest 2 minutes. That’s 1 round. Do 3.

1. Kettlebell pushup-position row, 5 reps each arm

2. Kettlebell swing, 15 reps

3. Kettlebell goblet squat, 20 reps

Barbell Plate Pyramid Workout
Barbell Plate Pyramid Workout
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BARBELL PLATE PYRAMID WORKOUT

Equipment: Barbell and plates

Time: 30 Minutes

Trainer: Todd Cambio, C.S.C.S., StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor

Directions: Load the bar with a weight you can lift 5 times. Do the first superset, then reduce the weight on the bar by 5 to 10 percent. Do 5 supersets, reducing the weight on the bar each time. Rest 2 minutes, then move onto the second superset, repeating that pattern for 5 supersets. Rest 2 minutes, then move on to the third superset, again repeating the pattern.

Superset 1

1A. Barbell deadlift, 5 reps

1B. Skater hop, 10 reps on each side

Superset 2

2A. Barbell hang clean, 5 reps

2B. Burpee, 10 reps

Superset 3

3A. Barbell push press, 5 reps

3B. Barbell front squat, 10 reps

17-Minute Sandbag AMRAP Workout
17-Minute Sandbag AMRAP Workout
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17-MINUTE SANDBAG AMRAP WORKOUT

Equipment: Sandbag

Time: 17 minutes

Trainer: Todd Cambio, C.S.C.S., StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor

Directions: Do the exercises in the order shown. Do as many reps as you can in one minute for each, resting a minute between exercises. That’s 1 round. Do 2.

1. Alternating sandbag shoulder squat
Rest a sandbag across your right shoulder. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and drop into a squat. Push back to the start. That’s 1 rep. Next round, rest the bag across your left shoulder.

2. Sandbag-on-shoulders jump squat
Rest the bag across your upper back and shoulders. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and drop into a squat. Explosively push back up, jumping as high as you can. That’s 1 rep.

3. Pushup

4. Sandbag slam

Perform this move like a medicine ball slam. Hold the bag overhead, your body straight and as tall as possible. Now slam the bag into the ground as hard as you can. That’s 1 rep.

20 Minute Dumbbell HIIT Blast Workout
20 Minute Dumbbell HIIT Blast Workout
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20 MINUTE DUMBBELL HIIT BLAST WORKOUT

Equipment: Dumbbells

Time: 20 minutes

Trainer: Brittany Corbett, CPT

Directions: Perform the exercises in the order shown. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, then move onto the next exercise until you’ve completed them all. That’s 1 round. Do 2.

1. Dumbbell pushup and row

2. Dumbbell overhead press

3. Dumbbell snatch (right arm)

4. Dumbbell snatch (left arm)

5. Dumbbell overhead press

6. Dumbbell skier swing

7. Dumbbell squat and press

8. Dumbbell side lunge (to right)

9. Dumbbell side lunge (to left)

10. Dumbbell alternating stepup

Full-Body TRX HIIT Workout
Full-Body TRX HIIT Workout
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FULL-BODY TRX HIIT WORKOUT

Equipment: TRX or other suspension trainer

Time: 25 minutes

Trainer: Arthur Hsu, TRX Instructor

Directions: This workout features two circuits. For circuit 1, perform each exercise for 20 seconds, resting 20 seconds between exercises. Do 4 rounds, then move on to circuit 2.

Circuit 1

1. TRX lunge

2. TRX Spiderman pushups

3. TRX burpee (switch legs each round)

Circuit 2

In circuit 2, you’ll do 4 rounds, performing the prescribed number of reps for all exercises each round.

Round 1: 20 reps

Round 2: 15 reps

Round 3: 10 reps

Round 4: 5 reps

1. TRX triceps press

2. TRX hip raise
Lie faceup, your feet in low cradles of the TRX. Your butt should be on the floor and your knees bent. Press your upper back into the floor, your heels into the handles and lift your hips until they’re straight. That’s 1 rep.

3. TRX biceps curl

4. TRX hamstring curl

5. TRX row to overhead press

AGILITY DRILLS

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You won’t need a football field to perform these 15 performance-enhancing agility drills from Sean Garner, a trainer at Anatomy 1220 in Miami, Fla.

Agility exercises are a great way to build up quickness and coordination. These benefits carry into sports and other physical activities. They’ll also combat the slowing that inevitably comes as we age. As the saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Agility drills also provide cardiovascular benefits, making them a great equipment-free option when you don’t have access to the gym. Lastly, if you don’t want to trip up, you’ll have to focus. That’s a level of mental stimulus you likely won’t get from the elliptical or treadmill. In other words—they’re fun!

Want to really jack up the level of intensity? Try these in the sand. A 2013 study showed that training in sand can increase physiological response (as compared to training on a solid surface such as grass) without any additional recovery needs.