Spotlight On: The Terra Core Trainer

Spotlight On: The Terra-Core Trainer

Disclosure: I was gifted the Terra Core trainer from Vicore Fitness in exchange for a review and feature here on the blog.  As always, my opinions, text, and workout creations with the Terra Core are my own.  I genuinely love this piece of equipment (it's soooo versatile and fun to use) and I hope you do too!

You guys, I'm SO EXCITED to introduce you to the Terra Core from Vicore Fitness.  If you saw my sneak peek on Instagram yesterday, you'll know I'm STOKED - talk about awesome new pieces of fitness equipment... this one takes the cake for my new favorite!  Vicore Fitness released it in early 2016, so it's still a relatively new fitness tool, but it's catching on, and I have no doubt you'll be seeing these in every major athletic club and fitness studio around over the next few years (so get in on the action early!).

Seriously though, I've been playing around with this thing for a few months now, developing some great workouts for you - soon to be a new series on the blog because I love it so much.  This baby is here to stay, so get ready - challenging and fun workouts are coming 'atcha, starting with number one on Friday!  

Terra Core Balance Trainer

So, what is it?

The Terra Core is like a combination of a balance/stability trainer (like the Bosu), a bench, and a stepper... plus a LOT more.  It's an oblong piece of equipment that has an air-filled dome on the top, providing instability when stepped or jumped on.  Unlike most other stability trainers that have a flat, mostly unusable bottom surface, this one has a BUNCH of versatile features like power grip handles, long metal bars for carrying or lifting, and grooves along the curved edges to hold all kinds of resistance tubing.

The top dome is made of a thick, smooth plastic and a rougher plastic to provide some traction.  It stands about 10 inches tall from ground to top, and weighs 28 pounds.  The base is incredibly sturdy and well-made, and the oblong shape provides a lot more surface area to work with, for example when doing wide-stance squats, lying down for crunches, or using as a bench.  It's definitely a portable piece of equipment, too, so you can take it with you to a park or move it outside for a change of scenery.  Below is a picture of the Terra Core in relation to my feet for size comparison (don't mind the dust on top - I filmed a workout with this outside on the porch):

Terra Core Balance Trainer

Possibilities on both sides!

Underneath, the Terra Core offers SO many possibilities for exercises.  (It's actually been an exciting challenge to put together workouts because there are endless options running through my head!)  At each end it has smaller power grip handles to perform, say, bent over rows, push ups, or a clean and press (yes, those are all included in upcoming workouts!).  The longer metal bars that run parallel to it can be used for push ups, rocking back and forth in a plank for some ab work, or just for carrying it around.  You'll also notice the molded grooves along the rounded edges... those are slots to hold resistance tubing when the Terra Core is dome-side-up - a great feature to easily transition from a move on top to immediately using the band, or to use as a bench prop for supine work.  I won't go into too much detail about all the exercise possibilities in this post since there will be a whole workout series devoted to this tool (starting Friday!).  So stay tuned for those, but keep reading because you guys get a special reader discount!

Terra Core underside
Terra Core Trainer

Special discount for blog readers!

The Terra Core is a bit on the pricier side of exercise equipment, running $279 plus tax.  But I'm happy to share 25% off using code INFITINHEALTH at check out - that's almost $70 saved right there!  With all the possibilities of exercises (over 250!) and workouts you can create with this thing, it's a REALLY great addition to for your home gym or fitness studio.

And for all my fellow trainers and instructors out there, Vicore Fitness has partnered with the American Council on Exercise to offer certifications in Terra Core classes and training!  CECs using an awesome piece of equipment?  YAAASS!  The certification and classes will be coming out soon (I can't wait), but in the meantime, check out ACE's review and first thoughts about the Terra Core here.  Stay tuned here on Friday for the first in the Terra Core workout series - a plyometric EMOM (every minute on the minute)... it's a quad & glute burner for sure!

For more information on the Terra Core, visit the Vicore Fitness website, and check out their Instagram for some awesome Terra Core workout videos!  

Readers: chat with me!  Have you heard of the Terra Core before?  Does anything about it intrigue you?  What exercises would you like to see?  If you're a fellow trainer/instructor, do you think you'd be interested in becoming Terra Core certified?  How do you think your clients/classes would like these?  Hope you all have a great rest of your week, and I'll see you back here on Friday for a killer workout!

12-Minute Abs On Fire Workout

12-Minute Abs On Fire Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Happy #FitnessFriday to you all!  Today's workout is one I've had in the works for a while now, and I'm really exited to finally share this!  I've done this format in my classes many-a-time, and this combo in particular left everyone exhausted in the best possible way [insert evil instructor laugh here].  This one's great if you're short on time - 12 minutes is all you need.  My favorite part about it is you don't need any equipment at all besides a soft surface to lie down/kneel on.  You can do this outdoors, indoors, at the gym, at home, traveling, probably even on a plane if you were so inclined.  (Hey... I've done it, haha).

Before we get started, I'm trying out something new(ish) here on the blog.  I've recently been getting into making playlists on Soundcloud (I'm probably the last one on earth), and the songs on my workout mixes pump me up so much for the gym, so I wanted to start sharing them with you here.  I've included my most recent compilation here in this post, but check the blog sidebar on the right for updated ones when I have them.  My gym music tastes are usually electronic/dubstep/techno remixes (fair warning: there are some swears).  Hope you like it! 

12-Minute Abs On Fire Workout

12-Minute Abs on Fire Workout

What You'll Need: just about nothing! If you want an exercise mat, go for it.  Otherwise, just a soft surface on the floor for your back and knees. 
What You'll Do: each exercise you'll do for 1 minute, with 30 second breaks in between every set of moves (of which there are 4).  You'll add on each subsequent move to the end of the preceding move in each set.  So... 
Set 1 = start with the first exercise for 1 minute.  Then rest for 30 seconds.  
Set 2 = exercise #1 again for 1 minute, and go immediately into exercise #2 for 1 minute with no break. Then take a 30 second breather.  
Set 3 = 1 + 2 + 3 (all 1 minute each) + 30 second rest
Set 4 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4* (all 1 minute each) 
*exercise #4 in this workout is done on each side.  I'll leave it up to you whether you want to do the full minute on each side or 30 seconds each.

Heel Touches - lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms straight reaching for your heels.  From here, engage your abs by lifting your upper back and shoulder blades off the floor/mat.  Rotate laterally so you alternate touching the back of each heel, as shown.  Keep it going for 1 minute, trying to engage your abs the whole time.  Trainer Tip: the closer your heels are to your butt, the easier this is; the farther away they are, the more difficult.  I want you to really have to REACH for those heels, but if you need a rest briefly, bring your feet in closer to your butt for a few seconds.

In & Outs - stay on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground as shown.  Bring your knees to your chest (and chest to your knees), using your abdominals to pull your legs in and chest up (your hands don't do any pushing here).  Elbows should come off the ground, but hands stay planted.  Keep 'em going for 1 minute. Trainer Tip: if you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and extend them overhead and reach for your toes on the way up.

Scissor Pulses - start on your back, with your legs in an L (both straight, one hovering over the floor and one up in the air).  Keep your legs in that L and pulse up twice towards the foot that's raised, trying to get your shoulder blades off the mat if you can.  Once 2 pulses are done, switch legs, and do 2 pulses up on the other side.  Keep alternating for 1 minute, 2 pulses each side before switching.  Remember to keep the leg that's parallel to the ground hovering and not resting on the floor.

Leaning Oblique Twists (each side) - alright, you have a choice with this one.  Stick with either 30 seconds each side, or do a full minute on each side... Let's start on the left side.  So you'll kneel down on your left knee, and extend your right leg out straight.  Place your right hand behind your head and lean to the left so your body forms a straight line from neck to toe (as shown - you'll feel your right obliques engage here).  From this position, twist your torso to bring your right elbow down towards the floor (shown).  Bring yourself back up to that starting position, maintaining that straight line from neck to toe (keep that spine straight).

New activewear brand alert: XXIV Active

XXIV Active Sprint Tights

The tights I'm wearing in today's workout are made by XXIV Active (24 Active), an up-and-coming activewear line, which debuted with some awesome high-waist leggings & matching bra sets back in late-2016.  They have a small but amazing selection, which is steadily growing.  (I'm eyeing these gorgeous bordeaux colored 7/8 tights now!)  The ones shown here are really comfy.  They're a bit too high-waisted for my liking (easy fix though - I just rolled them down a little), but I think they'd be perfect for the crop-top/high-waist legging trend that's going on in the yogi world.  The 2-tone mesh at the back of the knee is a nice touch, too, and with mesh popping up everywhere now, they're perfect.  If you like jumping on activewear brand bandwagons early, check these guys out - you'll be hearing big things from them soon!

Readers: chat with me!  What's your favorite way to work your abs - bodyweight exercises?  Equipment?  What athleisure trends are you loving lately?  Thoughts on workout playlists being included here?  What music genre gets you pumped to work out? 

Hydro-Inertia Training: The Kamagon Ball + a Total Body Circuit Workout

Hydro Inertia Training w/ the Kamagon Ball + a Total Body Circuit Workout

This post is sponsored by Fit Approach on behalf of Hedstrom Fitness, makers of the Kamagon Ball.  While I was compensated for my time, the workout and all product opinions (as always!) are my own. After learning more about hydro-inertia training, I'm really excited to share this with you! 

HELLOOOOO BLOGOSPHERE!  It's been exactly 6 months since my last post here on the blog (more on that in an upcoming post), but I am alive, doing well, and ready to get into it with today's unique workout using hydro-inertia training! 

What is Hydro-Inertia Training?

Well, it's exactly as the name implies: you use a vessel filled with water as your resistance during your training, and the water's inertia creates an unstable resistance that's more challenging for your abs, core musculature, and overall stability.  I had the pleasure of testing out this Kamagon Ball recently, and wow, I can tell you that adding this piece of equipment to a workout creates a whole new experience!  All you do is fill it to the desired amount of weight (measured out in lbs on the side of the ball - see photo below), screw in the cap, and you're ready to go!

Kamagon Ball by Hedstrom Fitness

What are the benefits of Hydro-Inertia Training and using the Kamagon Ball?

Using an unstable resistance like water inside a ball creates a more functional training regimen as opposed to picking up a static weight or resistance band.  I'm quickly becoming a fan of it, and the Kamagon Ball, for many reasons:

  • Hydro-inertia with the Kamagon Ball creates instability within all ranges of motion instead of just postural
  • Functional training aspects: picking up children and animals isn't a stable motion, and neither is using the Kamagon Ball
  • Safer to use than most resistance training equipment: created with soft but durable plastic instead of metal (e.g. kettlebells, free weights, barbells, etc.)
  • Easily portable

As with any new piece of equipment, there will be drawbacks in addition to the benefits.  I only saw two minor drawbacks with the Kamagon Ball, though.  The first being that it's not easy to adjust the weight very quickly if you needed to like it is with a set of kettlebells or dumbbells (you'd have stop your workout to pour out water or add more to it).  The second drawback is that unless you're watering plants, refilling your dog's water bowl, or otherwise have a second purpose for the liquid after your workout, it seems like a waste of water to me.  But that's easily fixed with the previous suggestions.

Okay, enough details about the ball - onto the workout!  Let's get our bodies moving!

Kamagon Ball Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Kamagon Ball Total Body Circuit Workout

What You'll Need: an exercise mat and a Kamagon Ball filled with water to your desired weight (1-13 lbs for a 9" ball; 1-45lbs for a 14" ball - I have the 9" version and used 12lbs for this workout). Note: if you don't have a Kamagon, you can use a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell.
What You'll Do: start with circuit 1, do each exercise for 1 minute, cycling through 3 times, trying not to take breaks until the third round is done.  Repeat for circuits 2 and 3, resting only between circuits if you can.  Repeat the whole workout 2 or 3 more times depending on desired intensity.

Circuit 1: Legs & Butt

Squat to Overhead Press - start standing with your feet about hip width apart, holding the ball at chest level.  From here squat down, sitting back on your heels, and driving your butt back behind you.  Reverse the move back up to standing and as you stand, press the ball up overhead. Keep going for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: if you want to challenge yourself here, you can isolate each leg and do single-leg squats with an overhead press.  If you do this, go for 30 seconds on each leg.

Jump Squats - start standing again with the ball overhead, as shown.  From here, jump your feet out wide and lower yourself down into a squat, reaching the ball down to the floor as you lower.  Immediately jump back up to standing, bringing your feet together, and pressing the ball up overhead again.  Continue for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: for a lower intensity/lower impact option, get rid of the hop, and step your feet out wide into a squat and back in instead.

- repeat circuit 1 twice more -

Circuit 2: Arms & Back

Single-Arm Biceps Curls (30 seconds each arm) - in a standing position, hold one handle of the ball with your arm is straight.  From here, do a biceps curl, bringing the ball all the way up to your shoulder and right back down.  Remember to keep your elbow close to your ribs, your wrist neutral, and focus on only moving your forearm (not your shoulder joint).  Do 30 seconds on one arm, then switch to the other side.

Upright Row - start standing, feet hip width apart, slight hinge forward in the hips (as shown), with the ball lowered so your arms are straight.  From here, pull the ball up towards your sternum, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.  Continue for 1 minute, maintaining a neutral spine throughout.  Trainer Tip: if this one is a little too easy for you (it was for me), hold the squeeze at the top of the pull for 5 seconds before releasing.

- repeat circuit 2 twice more - 

Circuit 3: Abs & Core

V-up Crunches + Hold (30/30) - start lying down on your back, legs out straight, ball extended overhead.  From here, bring your feet and hands up at the same time to meet in the middle, forming a V with your body.  Try to keep your back flat during this (i.e. keep the spine straight).  Touch the ball to your shins, and lower back down slowly.  Continue the V-ups for 30 seconds, then hold the V-sit position for the last 30 seconds.  Trainer Tip: if the V position is too challenging, bend your knees slightly and touch the ball to the tops of your shins.

2-Pulse Slow Bicycles - these are like normal bicycles except we're slowing them down and adding a pulse between each.  So every time you bring that ball up to meet your knee, pulse once, then slowly reverse the move to the other side and pulse again (so the ball touches your knee twice on each side).  Don't rush these - I really want you to feel your abs working here!  Continue alternating pulses on each side for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: try to keep your shoulder blades off the mat/floor as much as you can throughout the minute.

- repeat circuit 3 twice more -

Remember to keep the workout going for another full round or two if you want a more intense workout today!  (And once you're done - use the water to hydrate your plants, garden, lawn, refill that doggy bowl, etc.)  I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I really hope you'll give the Kamagon Ball a try this year!  It's definitely worth the investment (9" ball will run you $50), and I think hydro-inertia training is something you'll be hearing a lot about in the fitness world this year - it's a bandwagon to jump on!

To learn more about hydro-inertia training, and to purchase the Kamagon Ball, check out Hedstrom Fitness's website here.

Readers: chat with me!  Have you heard of hydro-inertia training before?  Have you ever used the Kamagon Ball or something similar in your workouts?  Do you think you'd give it a try?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, and of course what you all have been up to in recent months!