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February 22, 2021

Weight Loss Meal Tips That Require “Zero Effort”

(For Busy Adults with Little Free Time or Leftover Willpower)

 

If you’re ready to lose weight, but struggle to eat the proper portions in order to make your weight loss and health goals a reality, well boy do I have a special treat for you…

Because, with almost zero additional effort, you can increase your calorie deficit, lose weight, AND lose inches faster, without the extra cravings or hunger to go along with it.

 

Presenting: My 3 favorite weight loss *and general health* meal tips.

Hint: Pleeease make sure you read to tip #3, and I’ll share with you why I use it 5/7 days a week, almost Every. Single. Week. Time to pull back the curtains to show you how simple & easy these weight loss meal tips are!

 

Tip #1: Substitute Olive Oils with Olive Oil Spray

 

weight loss tips

Let’s be honest. Olive oil is good. Really good. And, you’re probably thinking – “Hunter, if you make me get rid of olive oil, I’m going drop kick you with my fist.”

Woahhh, let’s not get violent now. No, I won’t make you get rid of your olive oil… not completely, anyways. 😈

“But Hunter, isn’t olive oil healthy?”

Sure it is! There’s a lot of “good stuff” in olive oil… BUT:

If not used sparingly, those olive oil calories will add up like 7 inches of snow in Texas. We’re talking 120 calories per tablespoon. YIKES!

So, I’ve found you a 85%-as-good alternative.

Introducing – Olive Oil spray. *angels singing*

It’s olive oil, but you spray it. AND, even more fantastical, the nutrition label says ZERO calories.

Now, don’t be fooled, because olive oil spray does have calories *arghhh pesky food marketers*. But, it does have a lot less calories than olive oil – and will still make your food taste extra tasty.

In fact, olive oil spray has ~8 calories per second sprayed, so you’d have to spray 15 seconds just to match the calories on olive oil.

No thank you.

 

 

Tip #2: Almond Milk Over Dairy Milk

weight loss tips

A single cup of whole milk clocks in at around a whopping 150 calories! And, a cup of 1% reduced-fat dairy milk even tips the scale at over 100 calories.

A cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, though, is 30 calories. And, If opinions count, mine is that the almond milk tastes much better – and, as a bonus – you save 70 calories per cup.

The average American drinks ~1.5 cups a day, so there’s at least 105 calories per day that you’re saving (or 775 a week!)

Yes, dairy is a main source of calcium for most people, but did you know…

Silk Almond Milk packs a whopping 450mg of calcium per cup, where the average dairy milk contains ~300mg!

 

Tip #3: Eat Slaw Salads

 

weight loss tips

My biggest nutrition hack of 2020 was discovering Fresh Express Premium Slaw Salad Kits.

They are satisfying, delicious (I actually crave on a daily basis), and are reasonable on the calories.

For example, the Honey Pecan Salad is 110 calories per serving (275 calories total) and takes about 10 seconds to make.

I’ll eat an entire salad in one sitting, but Melissa, my fiancé will eat it in two (Or I’ll just eat her other half, too 😂)

If you want to lose weight, and have more energy, you want to eat low calorie, high nutrient dense foods as often as possible.

These types of foods promote well-being, and keep you satiated throughout your day.

These salads are a perfect example. 

The…The…Tha…Thaat…That’s All Folks!

 

There you have it! Combining all three of these little-to-no-effort tips will have you eating less total calories, while feeling more full on a daily basis. Follow these tips consistently and you’ll be one step closer to looking and feeling your best!

weight loss tips

If you enjoyed this article, swing over to our YouTube channel to check out our latest videos here – Hybrid Fitness YouTube Channel

February 11, 2021

3 Exercises to Increase Your Push-Ups

Why Push-ups?!

If you’ve ever been in a gym or watched a Rocky movie, you’ve definitely seen someone doing push-ups, and for very good reason. Push-ups not only increase core strength, but shoulder strength, stability, and pressing power of the pectorals and triceps, as well! All without having to load the movement with added resistance, making it more joint-friendly!

 

In hindsight, push-ups appear like a pretty straightforward thing to do. Simply just lower your body to the floor and push back up, right? Well if you’re one of the countless people who have tried and failed at this, then push-ups can quickly become frustrating, and far more difficult than expected.

Push it to the Next Level

If you’re reading this in hopes of completing your first push-up, then head over and check out our article on how to get your first push-up -CLICK HERE-.  BUT, If you’ve already mastered the art of achieving your first push-up, and want to start repping out multiple at a time, you’ve come to the right place! 

In this article, I’m giving you my top three exercises to increase your push-ups. Let’s go!

 

The Exercises

 

Resistance Band Push-Ups 

 

Another great way to assist push-up production is by adding some resistance to the Push-Ups already being done. To do this simply grab a resistance band with each hand and loop it across your upper back. Then get into the high Plank position and remember these few Push-Up techniques 

 

  • Hands are underneath your shoulders
  • Body is in a straight line (no sagging in the hips)
  • Lower your chest to the floor slowly
  • Return to the starting position by pushing yourself back up 

 

To begin, start with a light resistance band and perform as many reps as you can before your form begins to break down. Also, be aware that the added tension across your upper back can cause the lower back and hips to sag quicker once you start to fatigue. 

Increase Your Push-Ups Increase Your Push-Ups

DB Floor Press

 

DB floor presses are high on my list of not just exercises to help with push-ups, but high on the list for almost any kind of pressing exercises. To do a DB floor press, lay with your back on the floor with a DB in each hand. Then press both DBs towards the ceiling. Lower your elbows back to the floor in a slow and controlled manner. There are a couple things to keep in mind while doing this pressing exercise:

 

  • Keep elbows at a 30-45 degree angle off your body
  • Keep shoulders and lower back against the floor
  • Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way back up
  • Use a weight you can control 

 

This exercise will do a great job at increasing lockout power in the triceps which is where most people will fail on Push-Ups. 

Increase Your Push-Ups Increase Your Push-Ups

Plank 

 

Something often overlooked when it comes to push-ups is core strength. Having a strong core will help protect your back when doing push-ups. To begin kneel onto the floor and place hands directly underneath your shoulders. Move onto your toes and remember the couple golden rules of planks below:

 

  • Brace your core to keep your hips from sagging towards the floor. 
  • Keep hands directly underneath your shoulders
  • Breathing! Don’t hold your breath. Continue breathing at a controlled rate 

 

Hold this position for 20-30 seconds while starting out. Once you can hold this for a full minute move from being on your hands down onto your forearms and begin again at 20-30 seconds. 

Increase Your Push-Ups

 

Bonus Tip!

 

To further intensify the plank and further assist your push-up goals, mix in some plank up-downs. To do this start in the high plank position form earlier and slowly lower yourself to the low plank and then return to the high plank by extending one arm at a time. Repeat this as many times as you can before your form begins to digress. 

Increase Your Push-Ups Increase Your Push-Ups Increase Your Push-Ups

 

Wrap-Up

 

Gaining the strength to increase your push-ups can be just as frustrating as getting your very first push-up. The exercises above will assist any push-up goals you may have, but always remember that consistency is key. Get into the gym, stay consistent, and be patient. With determined and consistent effort you WILL improve!

 

If you enjoyed this article, swing over to our YouTube channel to check out our latest videos here – Hybrid Fitness YouTube Channel

February 5, 2021

The Perfect Boxing Stance – Boxing Basics

Perfecting the Boxing Stance

When boxing, establishing the perfect stance is one of the most crucial aspects to becoming fluent in the sport. In this article, I’m going to cover everything that you need to know in order to be comfortable in your stance, and dominate one of the most fun workouts you’ll ever have.

    

Boxing Stance Fundamentals

 

Although there are numerous stances and variations, the two most common stances in boxing are orthodox and southpaw. I recommend starting with one of these if you’re a beginner, but once a little more advanced, you can vary your stance for what’s most optimal for you. You can’t beat the basics of a perfect boxing stance!

 

Orthodox

 

Orthodox is typically for someone who is right-hand dominant. To set up in this stance, your left foot will be leading, with your right foot behind you. 

 

Southpaw

 

Southpaw is usually utilized by left-handed individuals. This stance is a mirror image of Orthodox, except we’re just flipping it around. Here, you’ll lead with your right foot, and your left foot will be the trailing foot. 

Most people feel comfortable with their given stance based on hand dominance, but use whichever feels most comfortable to you!   

    

Foot Placement

 

Feet should be about shoulder width apart, and in a triangle stance; angled open towards the direction they’re facing (see diagrams below). Make sure your bodyweight is dispersed equally over both feet (don’t lean forward, or back). 

Good foot placement allows for both solid balance and mobility. You’ll have great power and reach with both hands without leaving yourself too easily exposed for your opponent.

  • A stance that is too forward will provide less power and mobility, all while leaving you head and body more exposed

 

  • Too square of a stance will leave the head and body exposed in the center, have less reach on your jab, give you poor mobility, and make it easier to fall backwards

 

  • A stance that is too straight will make it easy for you to be pushed off balance, and limit your reach with your cross

 

  • Too wide of a stance will make it easier for you to be pushed off balance, give you poor mobility, and limit your reach with your cross.

The perfect boxing stanceThe perfect boxing stanceThe perfect boxing stance

 

Lower Body Position

 

There should be a slight bend in your knees with your weight equally dispersed between both feet. The heel of your rear foot should be lifted slightly, and especially when moving around, you should be on the ball of your foot (area just below the toes, but towards the forward portion of foot). 

This stance is optimal by allowing for quicker movement on both offense and defense. As long as you’re not moving, the lead foot can be planted flat on the ground.

Common Mistakes:

  • Knees too bent 
  • Not enough bend in knees
  • Feet too wide, square, straight or forwards (shown above).

 

Upper Body Position

 

Your torso should remain upright, and your head should not be over or past your front knee. Relax your shoulders, pull them down and back, and keep your elbows tucked in at your sides. Your elbows are actually your protection for your ribs, so make sure they stay in tight. 

Keep your chin tucked down towards your chest and not sticking out. The chin is something you do not want to leave open and accessible to your opponent.

Position your hands up in front of your chin, with your lead hand (jab hand) 6-8 inches out in front. This is so it doesn’t block your vision, allows for quick jabs, as well as blocks to your opponent’s rear hand. 

The rear hand (cross hand) should be directly on the chin. This hand will be responsible for parrying jabs, and blocking hooks from the opponent. 

Common Mistakes:

  • Leaning too far forward/backward (throws off balance) 
  • Leaving your lead hand too low (leaves your head vulnerable, unless used as a decoy)
  • Dropping your rear guard hand (leaves head very vulnerable)

 

Benefits of This Stance

 

This is the perfect boxing stance that allows you to move quickly to attack, as well as to get into a defensive position if necessary. You’ll have great mobility, and be able to move well around your opponent without sacrificing from the defensive side. 

It also gives you the ability to fire out punches quickly, but also with great power. Being in this ideal stance also allows for proper balance. You don’t want to get knocked backwards or fall forward if you miss a punch!

 

Conclusion

 

The boxing stance is essential to becoming a great boxer, and is the first thing you should get down if you’d like to improve your craft. All of the greatest boxers have spent countless hours mastering their positioning before working on punching harder, defending better, etc. It’s the foundation to dominating your opponent. And here at Hybrid, to dominating the heavy bags while being one of the most fun, high energy workout classes around.

Check out our article on how to properly wrap your wrists for boxing:

Click here!

Swing over to our YouTube channel to check out our latest videos here:

Hybrid Fitness YouTube Channel

 

January 28, 2021

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

Let’s be honest, if you’ve got lower back pain, you’re probably missing out on a lot of fun in life. Fortunately, here are a few simple tricks you can do at home, without any equipment, to improve, and hopefully, eliminate your low-back pain.

DISCLAIMER: Before following any advice given here, please refer out to a doctor or other medical professional.

What Causes Low-Back Pain?

 

Aggravation of the low-back usually occurs due to improper alignment, or if our mobility has been disrupted. Usually misalignment is caused by a previous injury, or by improper repetitive movement over time. As many of you know, it takes only one vertebra to be out of alignment to experience pain. 

Discomfort also occurs if two or more vertebrae are stuck together. Consider that each vertebra has 4 joints/facets that are held together with tiny ligaments. That’s 20 joints that can be sprained or fixated potentially leading to aches and pains!

 

3 Tips to Reduce or Eliminate Low-Back Pain

 

You can resolve low-back pain at home by taking the proper steps. First, you’ll want to reduce any inflammation, if possible. This is beneficial to remedy joints, nerves, and soft tissue that are irritated, raw, and swollen, causing discomfort and/or aggravation. In particular, your doctor or chiropractor may recommend oral anti-inflammatory medication, applying ice and/or stretching.

Here are 3 tips that you can do in the comfort of your own home to try and remedy that pesky low-back pain!

 

Tip #1 – Your Low-back Wake-up Call

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

How you start your morning contributes to the flow of the rest of your day. Your initial actions when you wake up prepare your body for sitting, standing and moving about your day.

Here’s an example of how to stretch your low-back before you even get out of bed each morning:

  • Lying on your back with legs bent, gently pull one knee toward your chest
  • Relax your low-back muscles while holding this position for 3-5 seconds, or longer if desired. 
  • Slowly switch legs.
  • Now, do the same thing, but bring both knees toward your chest.
  • Repeat 5-10 times to wiggle free from stiffness 

 

Tip #2 – Your Core is Key to Resolve Low-back Pain

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

Strengthening your back is obviously important, but it’s just as important to strengthen your entire core. All the muscles extending from your head to your pelvis deep within your trunk provide support for your spine.

Exercises to aid with low-back pain are those that provide simple, low-impact movement of the whole body. The more you move, the more your lymph and circulatory systems flow. This increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the joints keeping them healthy and removes waste products from your body.

Examples of Exercises for Mobility:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking

 

Specific Exercises for Building Core Strength:

  • Pelvic tilts to create movement in the pelvis.
  • Partial abdominal crunches lifting the head and shoulder blades off the mat.
  • Crisscross, also referred to as Bicycles to strengthen the obliques

 

Give the core a hand by strengthening the glutes, quads and hamstrings with these exercises: 

  • Glute bridges to activate the glutes & hamstrings.
  • Step-ups
  • Walking lunges
  • Single leg deadlift 
  • Elevated split squat

 

On the other hand, if lying on your back to exercise is not comfortable, then perhaps getting down on all fours for:

  • Cat-cows
  • Bird-dogs
  • Planks, either low planks on your forearms or high planks with arms extended 

Many exercises are beneficial and improve low-back pain but only if they are performed properly. Please be mindful when involved in the following to make sure your form is correct. If an exercise is too difficult to hold proper form, then modify the exercise appropriately.

Here are some exercises & behaviors you may want to be cautious of when dealing with low-back pain:

Planks

I know this may sound contradictory since I mentioned planks as a beneficial strengthening exercise above, however, ensure that you have proper plank form. To do this, align your body in a straight line from your head to your toes. If your low back sags or if you experience pain, try planks on your knees, elevated on a bench/chair or against a wall. 

Prone positions

Although prone positions are beneficial for building core muscles, please use caution. Prone positions, such as Superman, can compress the spine by lifting your upper body and lower body too high off the floor. Instead, focus on making your body as long as possible by reaching with your fingertips and toes or lift only the upper body or lower body independently. 

Excessive bending

Exercises that pull on the low-back such as, trying to pick something up off the floor without bending your knees. This movement can strain your low-back, especially if you cannot comfortably touch your toes with straight legs and/or if your hamstrings are tight. In other words, the low-back tries to provide the slack necessary to bend farther and could increase the chance of injury. 

Quick twisting movements

Remind yourself to engage your core to support the low-back before slowly rotating the torso. 

Contact or high-impact sports

Even though these sports may be fun, there is a risk of injury to your low-back if your core is weak. Low-impact exercises where there is always a grounded body part (whether it be a hand, foot or even a behind) can build muscle for more strenuous activities.

Heavy lifting that compresses the spine

Lifting heavy weight can increase the chance of low-back injury, even with proper precautions. In fact, it is possible to build muscle using body weight or light weight exercises. 

 

Tip #3 – Strike a Pose to Relieve low-back pain

How To Improve Low-Back Pain

Posture! Posture! Posture! 

Be mindful of your posture whether sitting, standing or lying down by:

  • Engaging the core to support the low-back
  • Aligning your head with your spine by lengthening through the back of the neck and pulling your chin back so your ears are over your shoulders
  • Slightly pulling your shoulders back and shoulder blades together
  • Using lumbar support when needed

Granted, nobody enjoys a moment of “Ouch! My back!”, as it impacts our enjoyment of life. Starting with the wake-up call exercise above and following through with these simple tips will help improve your low-back pain by keeping your joints mobile and your core strong.

For more on posture, check out this article!

If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it with someone suffering from low-back pain.

 

Swing over to our YouTube channel to check out our latest videos here:

Hybrid Fitness YouTube Channel

And remember…small steps, big results.
January 19, 2021

How To Properly Wrap Your Wrists For Boxing

 

Have you ever noticed that boxers and fighters have their wrists and hands wrapped up before a fight?

Have you ever wondered why?

In this article, not only will you learn the why, but more importantly the how to properly wrap your wrists and hands prior to participating in boxing and/or any other striking sport.    

Properly wrapping for boxing, or any striking sport is extremely important for the health and longevity of your hands and wrists. The structure of the hand alone consists of 27 bones, not to mention numerous joints, ligaments, and tendons that can be easily injured from the impact of repetitive punches. 

Wrapping thoroughly around the wrist joint, knuckles, and hand will keep everything compressed, therefore reducing the risk of injury. Not only that, but it will help you punch harder, as well! 

As you train more and more, your punching power will increase along with the amount of force and impact, so it’s important to learn how to wrap before even attempting something like boxing.

Wrapping your wrists will reduce the risk of hyperextending and injuring your wrists, and adds an extra protective layer to the knuckles as well to help keep them protected.

Boxing gloves should fit snug and not wiggle around too much, so wrapping also helps limit the space inside for a tighter fit. The wrapping process can be daunting where it includes numerous steps, but it’s important to learn early on, and properly, so you don’t injure or limit yourself along the way. 

Like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Follow along with the step-by-step guide below, and you’ll be a wrist wrapping pro before you know it!

Let’s go!

 

Step 1

  • Place the starting loop around your thumb, and begin wrapping around the back of your hand.

How to wrap your wrists

 

 

Step 2

  • Wrap completely around your wrist 3 times.

How to wrap your wrists

 

Step 3

  • Wrap around your palm and knuckles 3 times, leaving your thumb free.

How to wrap your wrists

 

Step 4

  • From the underside of your hand, wrap around your thumb, continuing between your pinky and ring finger towards the palm, and wrapping around the palm and knuckles as you did in the previous step.
  • You should be back to the same position as you were at the beginning of this step.
  • Once again, wrap around your thumb, but this time continue between your ring and middle fingers. Continue around the palm and knuckles, until you are back in the same position as the beginning of step 4. 
  • Repeat one more time. This time taking it around the thumb and continuing between your middle and index fingers.

How to wrap your wrists

How to wrap your wrists

 

Step 5

  • Once you’ve wrapped between each finger, wrap around the thumb and continue over the back of the hand.

 

Step 6

  • With your palm facing up, wrap around your thumb and down over your palm around to the backside of your hand, in the opposite direction of the way you’ve been wrapping.

 

Step 7

  • Repeating Step 3, wrap around your palm and knuckles 3 more times, excluding your thumb.

 

Step 8

  • Wrap any excess wrapping around your wrist, and fasten the velcro securing strap.

 

There you have it! Your wrists are wrapped, and you’re ready to strike!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it! 

Keep your eyes peeled for the 6 numbered punches we’ll be covering soon!

If you enjoyed this information, please check out our other fitness & health articles here:

https://hybridfitnessgym.com/articles/

Swing over to our YouTube channel to check out our latest videos here:

Hybrid Fitness YouTube Channel