Here you will find great workouts, innovative exercises, major motivation and other informative wellness information from our amazing fitness professionals!
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kids Fitness Circuit

When it's rainy out, it's pretty easy to turn it into a 'nap & TV day'. But with 3 kids running around, that isn't really a sustainable option - for the sanity of bedtime and beyond. So on the fly, I put together a little "fitness circuit" (just like at Power Sculpt :) that was fun and helped to release some of that homebound energy.

I played music during each station and when it was time to switch, the music went off and they had to go to the next exercise (sort-of like a game of 'freeze'). When then music started again, they started their next station and so on.

It was easy, they had fun and it killed 10 minutes...now what to do for the rest of this rainy day?!?

Each station was about a minute - it took a while to get them to do each exercise correctly so they probably exercised around 30-45 seconds at each one. We went around twice making it 10 minutes in length. You could use any exercises - I recommend body weight strength versus lifting external resistance. Here is what we did:

Jumping Jacks



Bicep Curls


Monday, June 24, 2013

Tighten up your Triceps!

Aren't triceps the best? They are that lovely part of your upper-under arm that when you wave...keeps moving even when you stop. It happens to everyone - but the tighter your triceps are, the less they will wiggle and jiggle!

Try this workout the next time you are at the gym. Make it a non-stop, super set circuit so there is little to no rest between exercises. If you want awesomely toned tris then repeat the series 2 to 3 times.

Warm-Up with 3-5 minutes of cardio exercise

Kickbacks - 15 reps

FORM: Using a light set of dumbbells (3-7lbs) bend over at the waist but keep your back straight and knees soft. Engage your core tightly and pull your elbows up just above your back. Keeping your elbows in place, extend your arms back straight. Bend in and repeat extension. If you have perfect form at the end of your set, hold your arms out for 10 straight arm pulses.

Cable Push-Downs - 15 reps
FORM: Hook a straight or upside-down-V bar to a high cable at the gym. Adjust the weight towards the top of the stack (test to make sure it is challenging but not impossible). Stand vertical facing the cable and hold the bar. Pull it down mid way so your elbows are right next to your side and hands are slightly higher. This is your start and finish point. Keeping your elbows locked at your sides, press the bar ALL the way straight down then return to your start position.

Dips - 15-20 reps
FORM: Sit on the edge a bench, stability ball or BOSU with your hands right next to your legs. Your knuckles should be facing away from you. Lift your bottom of and in front of you so all of your weight is in your arms. Bend your elbows so you are lift ing your body weight down and up with your arms. TIP...the ball and BOSU will be more challenging!

Overhead Tricep Extensions - 15 reps
FORM: Use a moderately heavy dumbbell (7-15lbs) and hold it with both hands above your head. Keep your posture upright and knees soft, lower the dumbbell behind your head then press it back up straight. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your head and chin slightly down. If your form is still strong, perform 10 pulses at the end of your set.

Rope Extensions - 15 reps
FORM: Exact same procedure as the cable push-downs however you will use a rope attachment instead of a bar and at the bottom of the extension you will also pull the rope outward (each side/hand away from you).

Closer-Width Push-Ups - 15-20 reps
FORM: Come into a regular push-up position on your knees or toes. Instead of having your hands a little wider than your shoulders, move them in even with or a little narrow of shoulder-width. Keeping your core engaged and back straight, lower down and up.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You Need Your Sleep!

Most people realize how precious sleep is...especially if you have kids, a stressful job, a lot going in your life or all of the above! When you are exhausted, it makes everything more difficult and sometimes frustrating. If you feel like your goals aren't being met, take a look at what your night time habits are.

Lack of sleep causes a decrease in energy and motivation to accomplish your goals!  Not only are proper sleeping habits important for you mentally, but if you don’t rest your muscles properly before and after a good workout, you could risk injury. You’ll notice an improvement in your overall performance once you start to focus on not only quantity of sleep but also quality. 
  • Try to stick to a regular bedtime schedule and create somewhat of a bedtime ritual. Doing the same things every night before bed will signal to your body that you are indeed winding down. 
  • A cool, dark and quiet room is typically best for sleeping - try to create a comfortable spot free of distractions. 
  • Watch what you drink and eat before bed - obviously avouching caffeine, nicotine and alcohol (which although might help you to initially fall asleep, could disrupt your sleep later in the night). Also be sure to eat well before bed so you aren't overfull or starving.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where is My 6-Pack?

You do 1,000 crunches and 20 minutes of planks a day and still...nothing? Where is that 6-pack? You feel stronger during squats, burpees and are able to lift your kids easier - but seriously...why isn't that waistline shrinking?

A strong core is essential for protecting your back and allows you to be overall stronger and able to attain a higher level of endurance. While increasing your core strength happens through working out, being able to actually 'see' a toned and defined core comes mostly from your nutritional habits...what you eat. If you have a layer of fat over your abs, you are not going to be able to see what is underneath...no matter how strong your core is!

In addition, extra pounds in your midsection increase your risk of cardiovascular and other diseases more than extra weight in your thighs and hips.

There are many diet plans that can help you lose body fat but unfortunately none have magic belly-flattening nutrients capable of melting away belly fat. "Spot-reducing" (or selecting which part of your body you lose fat from) just isn't possible.  
What will melt body fat, including belly fat, is lowering your overall body fat through a well-balanced, calorie-controlled eating plan.

Don't feel discouraged though, by making healthy lifestyle changes versus buying into the latest cleanse or nutrition bar, you will see longterm results versus short-lived de-bloating.

Your overall health plan should include strength training to preserve muscle mass, aerobic exercise to burn fat, and your diet should be healthy and calorie-controlled.

Need help? Schedule a consultation with our nutrition partner Aeon Nutrition or schedule Factor 75 to deliver healthy meals to your door (use code 'powersculpt' for 10% off).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Introducing PSF's Nutrition Partner!

Power Sculpt Fitness is pleased to announce a partnership with Aeon Nutrition!

Aeon Nutrition is a Chicago based nutrition consulting company looking to help their clients make changes that are realistic and sustainable.  

Given all the conflicting and misleading information in the media today, Aeon Nutrition looks to provide information that is both well-researched and recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Our team of dietitians are all registered and licensed through the state of Illinois and have experience working with a wide range of clientele.  We specialize in diabetes prevention and treatment, weight management, vegetarian nutrition, childhood obesity and prevention, sports nutrition and cooking with whole foods.  

CLICK HERE to book an Initial Nutrition Consultation

Monday, May 13, 2013

8 Foam Roller Exercises

Have you tried our foam rolling classes at Power Sculpt Fitness? They are hugely popular and are a great way to help prevent injury, reduce muscle soreness and release tension.

During foam rolling, you essentially use your own body weight as you "roll" specific muscle groups against a firm foam roller to mimic a deep tissue massage. You are in control of how much pressure you apply to the tissues that you're working on, and you are able to specifically locate and focus on areas that are most problematic. Beyond using a foam roller as a therapeutic tool, you can also use it for a variety of exercises for core-strengthening and stabilization. When used often and correctly, the foam roller can help individuals avoid many injuries and further enjoy their workouts pain-free.

Come check out one of our classes! Here are 8 basic foam rolling exercises to get you started...

2 Popular Healthy Eating Apps

Fooducate Plus ($3.99; FREE version available)
Lose weight, eat real food, and track your progress. Fooducate grades your food, explains what's really inside each product, and offers healthier alternatives. We've got the largest database of UPCs - over 200,000 unique products and growing. 

This app is focused on changing your eating habits into a lifestyle change versus just "weight loss"...we love that! It truly tries to educate you on what you are eating - not just calories but ingredients (which as a parent is super helpful). We also like the ability to scan bar codes to get instant nutrition info added into the app. You can also devise healthy eating shopping lists that can easily exported - making your trip to the store not as much of a headache!

Lose weight with MyFitnessPal, the fastest and easiest to use calorie counter (now optimized for iPad!). With the largest food database of any calorie counter (over 2 million foods), and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, we’ll help you take those extra pounds off! There is no better diet app – period.

By far the most popular app for dieting, this powerful tool can scan bar codes, store inputted food and also tracks activity. We like how it syncs to your account online so you can use your computer to check progress and record your day. There is also a large online community on their website that can be useful for gaining support, advice and information.