My name is Natalie, Director of Education for FreeMotion Fitness, and welcome to my ARENA! Over the next couple of months I have committed to a journey to the stage, swapping out my cleats and running shoes for high heals and a figure competition bikini. We will document and share the journey, the good, the bad and the ugly right here on the FreeMotion blog and FreeMotion Fitness Facebook page. Ill share fitness tips, show you the food I am consuming, take you to posing practice, show you how I manage it all on the road when I am traveling for work and the best part, take you with me to the STAGE!
VULNERABLE would be the most ACCURATE word to describe my current emotional state. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. I made the decision to take on this challenge and share it with you because frankly…it scares me. Outside our comfort zone is where we find and experience growth! My hope is as you follow my journey over the next few months you will be inspired to also DARE GREATLY, take ACTION, and step into your own ARENA. My WHY is to accomplish and inspire.
Courage met Fear when I pushed send on the email to my coaches, Jenny and Jeff Later, with my before pictures attached. Honestly, I debated whether or not I would include those in this opening blog post and even had some people say “don’t do it” BUT quickly remembered that I’ve made a COMMITMENT to myself and to you that I will be as authentic as possible on this journey. Posting these before pictures without the after picture attached to it makes me feel incredibly exposed and liberated all at the same time.
Some will look at this picture and think wow she has a great body and others may think I cannot believe she posted this picture of herself in a sports bra. BUT REMEMBER “its not the critic that counts” when stepping into the arena!
The reality is this…
The loose skin on my tummy is a beautiful reminder of two amazing little girls that call me mommy. That skin stretched to Guam and back while growing human life. The infamous “Sozio Pouch” will transform to an 8 pack and I will prove that you are not a prisoner to your genetics! If you look closely at my right knee you will see a massive vertical scar left behind from 5 knee operations. A knee that continues to support me in everything I love to do, even after everything it has endured. An imperfectly perfect body, my body, my tool!
Over the next few months I will put in the work to transform my body using FreeMotion equipment, strength training, efficient cardio, intelligent coaching, spot on nutrition and steadfast will power.The day I stand on that stage I will have trusted the process, put in the work and “will at best know in the end the triumph of high achievement or at worst, if I fail, I will at least fail while daring greatly”. Excited to have you along for the ride!
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For my first fitness tip I want to show you a great HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout on the FreeMotion Incline Trainer. Do you want to learn about the MANY benefits of Incline Training? You can do so HERE.
This blog post was written by Mary Dimmick, RD, MS, CPT, CES, and FreeMotion Master Coach. You can learn more about Mary HERE.
A lot of people overlook shoulder strength and flexibility in their training. However, improved flexibility and strength in our shoulders can lead to an increased range of motion around the shoulder joints, as well as resistance to fatigue and injury. By dedicating some time to the shoulders, you can improve your ability to perform anything from everyday movements like putting the groceries away to advanced, compound weight-lifting exercises such as heavy squats, push-ups, and pull-ups.
Check out this list of six RIP:60 exercises that allow you to focus on effectively increasing shoulder flexibility and strength. Perform all of the provided exercises in a circuit for 2 to 4 sets, repeating the strength exercises 8 to 12 repetitions, and holding the stretch exercise for the designated amount of seconds. You may also pick and choose the exercises you feel are most appropriate and applicable for your individual needs.
Keep in mind that the RIP:60 straps also allow you to keep your core and legs engaged as you complete your shoulder work, which leads to improved proprioception and a relatively nice boost in caloric burn. As with any exercise, good form is key for optimal results and to avoid injury. If you are not sure what you are doing, or if you are feeling any soreness in your neck during or after the exercises, I strongly suggest you seek out the supervision of a trained professional.
Starting Position for First 4 Exercises
Lean back with your entire weight supported by the RIP:60 straps in a “low-load” position—somewhat close to standing upright. Your arms should be straight and palms facing each other. Be sure that you have a neutral spine and that your core is braced with a neutral pelvis (doesn’t tilt forward or backward). As you perform the exercises, be absolutely sure to maintain a braced core, as using the RIP:60 straps is also a great opportunity to work on strengthening your deep intrinsic core muscles. Also, do your very best to maintain a relaxed neck, which is easy to achieve when your shoulders are pulled down and back by the muscles of your back
Begin in the starting position. With straight arms, take a moment to retract your shoulders and feel the muscles of your mid-upper back contract. Next, flare the elbows out to the side to make 90-degree angles in your elbow. Meanwhile, rotate your palms to face forward. Really focus on “squeezing a pencil” between your shoulders blades and keeping your shoulders away from your ears. At the peak of the contraction, the orientation of your arms to head will resemble the letter “W”. As you return to the starting position, be sure to keep your shoulders down and back, and your neck relaxed as you straighten your arms and rotate your palms to return to the starting position.
Begin in your starting position. Again, take a moment to retract your shoulders, without notably bending the elbows. Squeeze that pencil between your shoulder blades as you develop tension behind the shoulders and upper back. Then, to perform the movement, lift your arms straight up into a “Y” position, keeping the RIP:60 strap in full tension the entire time (don’t let it fall loose between you and the anchor point). As you return to the starting position, focus really hard on keeping your shoulders down and back, and your neck relaxed as you straighten your arms and rotate your palms to face each other at the starting position.
Assume the starting position, which might need to be slightly further away from your anchor than you will be for the “W” and “Y”, since smaller muscle groups will be targeted. Keep tension on the straps the entire time. Tightly contract your lats down with upper back muscles in, and serratus anterior to lift your hands straight up into the air, with only a very small gap between your ears and the RIP:60 strap. Palms need to face forward at the top of the contraction. If you feel excessive strain in your neck, you might need to tuck your chin slightly toward your chest in order to lengthen the upper trapezius and enable the shoulders to drop down a little more (with conscious effort). Return to your starting position keeping your neck relaxed and back muscles tense.
- Reverse Fly
From the starting position, contract your rhomboids by retracting your shoulders and squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades before driving your mostly straight arms out to the side, keeping the RIP:60 strap in tension. Drive your arms out as far as you can until they are level with your body. Take time to feel muscles such as your lats, mid-back muscles, and posterior deltoid (NOT your neck). Activate then lean backward and control your straight arms back to the starting position. If you find you cannot complete this with 1) straight arms, then “soft” elbows are OK. Just do not actively bend the elbow. Or 2) without arching your back, then step away from the anchor point just a little more, even if you are almost fully upright at the starting position.
- Overhead Chest Stretch
Begin facing away from your anchor point and assume a staggered stance with your arms up, framing your head, and elbows bent to 90 degrees. Shift forward slowly in your stance until you can lift your chest up to achieve the stretch throughout your chest muscles and anterior deltoid. It is very important that you hold a gentle stretch with your neck relaxed, shoulders down, abdominals braced, and pelvis in a neutral position. If possible, your hands should be tilted slightly behind your body, and elbows tilted slightly forward. I usually have my clients switch legs after holding the first stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Overhead Squat
Begin by sliding the handlebars up the foot carriages so that you are working with the soft material. Place your hands in the foot carriage, with the material on the back of your hand (not your palm). Lift your arms straight in the air, as with the “I” exercise, and adjust your stance to be hip width apart. The RIP:60 straps should be fully in-tension as you press back on the foot carriages with your hands above your head.
Once you are in a completely upright position underneath the tense RIP:60 straps, perform a squat keeping your hands directly above your head. If you find your arms pulling forward, or your torso hinging forward, you might be leaning back too much. You may also try not going as low until you are able to keep your hands straight up above your head.
FreeMotion recently installed 36 Incline Trainers in the Mizzou Student Rec Complex at the University of Missouri and the feedback has been outstanding! Here’s an email we received from Diane Guse Dahlmann, the Executive Director of the MizzouRec Services & Facilities.
Our students have responded with enthusiasm over the installation of 36 FreeMotion Incline Trainers at the Mizzou Student Rec Complex. These newest FreeMotions have provided our Tigers with a whole new array of workout options. As a result, the new equipment has immediately become the first choice for cardio for our students.
It was clear after our testing last semester that Mizzou student voices said “FreeMotion” and “Incline Trainers.” When the time came to rotate our old treadmills this summer, the choice was easy — FreeMotion Incline Trainers, 36 strong for our Mizzou Tigers! And the equipment has been running hot every since they rolled in the door!
Not only are our the students thrilled with the new machines, but our fitness equipment technicians were overjoyed as well. FreeMotion was trouble-free during our tests, standing up to the vigorous use in our demanding environment.
Thank you, FreeMotion — your product is Tiger Tough and Mizzou Strong!
Diane Guse Dahlmann
MizzouRec Services & Facilities
Mizzou Aquatic Center
LOGAN, UTAH April 20, 2015—FreeMotion Fitness Inc., a leading provider of commercial fitness equipment, announced the addition of Dan Toigo as vice president of sales for North America.
In this position, Toigo will play a leading role in driving revenue growth. He will also be instrumental in strengthening relationships with distributors.
Toigo joins the company with over 24 years of experience in specialty fitness commercial distribution, direct sales, and national account management. Over the last 10 years he has been highly successful in senior management positions with Precor, Interactive Fitness, and most recently as the vice president of sales for Fluidity Studio Barre.
“We’re very excited to have a proven and experienced sales leader like Dan join our team,” said FreeMotion Fitness President and Chief Executive Officer Pat McGinnis. In the coming months, FreeMotion looks forward to increasing market share, continuing to develop innovative products, and advancing customers’ educational experience.
FreeMotion Fitness™, a subsidiary of Icon Health & Fitness, is a commercial fitness company best known for functional strength products like the Dual Cable Cross as well as the Incline Trainer with a gradient range of zero to 30 percent. FreeMotion also offers full cardio and strength product lines found at freemotionfit.com and freemotioncatalog.com.
“Our philosophy is to take club training to the next level,” explained McGinnis. “Instead of offering just fixed-isolated strength equipment, we bring club members cable strength with free range of motion. This mentality carries through our full product offering. We are constantly challenging the status quo so that club members can get the most out of their training.”
Club owners interested in increasing revenue through innovative, functional equipment should contact Pat McGinnis at 877.363.8449 or visit freemotionfit.com.
The FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross is one of the most recognized pieces of strength equipment in the world. This powerful machine functionally trains the muscles of the entire body to work together while building stability and coordination AND enhances strength by allowing users to perform movements that mimic activities in both sports and life. The Dual Cable Cross truly follows the philosophy of FreeMotion Fitness by allowing you to Train the Way You Move in Life and Sport. If you’re looking to take your training to the next level with the FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross download this exercise chart and give these exercises a try!