Spotlight On: The ActivMotion Bar (+ discount!)

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Disclosure: While I was not compensated to write this post, I was gifted this bar by Fit Approach on behalf of ActivMotion Bar in exchange for review on the blog. As always, all opinions, photos, and workout images are my own. I hope you guys love this piece of fitness equipment as much as I do!

Alright, let’s first disregard the fact that this is my first blog post in WELL over a year (hello graduate school! - more on that and my life lately in an upcoming post). And let’s focus on new fitness equipment! Have you gotten your Christmas shopping done yet? Do you have your gifts for the fitness fanatic? If you need an idea for them, or for yourself, here’s a great one: The ActivMotion Bar.

ActiveMotion Bar

This LOOKS like your traditional weighted bar similar to a Body Bar, but it is most definitely better. The ActivMotion Bar is hollow and has weighted ball bearings inside that roll around as you shift it. It’s definitely something you have to hear and feel.

The shifting of the ball bearings creates a whole new challenge for, well, all your muscles, but particularly your abs and core. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to keep that bar still! There are SO many exercises you can do with this, the opportunities are endless. And it doesn’t just come in one size either. I’m using the 10-lb bar here, which let me tell you, is a LOT more challenging than I thought it would be. (Haha… #humbled.) The bars also come in weights of 3, 4.5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18lbs. They also have a “glimpse” bar where you can actually see through and watch the balls roll as you move. That one weighs 4.5lb. The lighter ones are good for Pilates and building general strength, coordination, and core activation. The heavier ones are suited more for advanced use, with the 18lb-er being proooooobably for more of your athletes. (I’m not sure I could swing around 18lbs of shifting weight!) So, all that said, there are a variety to choose from and each has its own benefit. I’d be really interested in trying a Pilates class with this!

ActiveMotion Bar

As I hope you know, I only share fitness equipment that I genuinely love and actually use in my own training. Now that I’ve had a chance to play around with this, I’ll be creating an ActivMotion Bar series here on the blog, so stay tuned for some great workouts! In the meantime, here’s an exercise I tried a few nights ago that is way more challenging in practice than it appears: the side plank leg lift. Helloooo outer thighs, obliques, and shoulders! (For a video of this and to HEAR the bar in action, check out my Instagram post… complete with bloopers too!)

Side Plank Leg Lift - Start in a traditional side plank (or bottom leg tucked under for more support). Rest one end of the bar on the top leg in the crook of your ankle, and hold the other end with your top arm (shown below, top). From there, lift your top leg up as high as you can, allowing the ball bearings to roll all the way down (shown below, bottom). Then lower your leg back down, allowing the balls to finish rolling back before lifting again. Try 10 each leg, and let me know how you do!

SidePlankLegLifts

READER DISCOUNT! (Through 1/7)

ActivMotion Bar was kind enough to share a 25% off discount code with you! Use code FITAPPROACH25 now through January 7, 2019 for some savings! The bars are slightly on the pricey side ranging from $99 - $139, so I’m happy to be able to share this discount. Go experience one for yourself! You won’t regret it, especially if you work out at home and/or need to breathe new life into your fitness routine!

And if you need more exercise/workout ideas, check out ActivMotion Bar on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. AWESOME resources for motivation!

Readers: chat with me! Have you used an ActivMotion Bar before? If so, what’d you do with it and how did you like it? If not, are you interested in giving it a try? Have you used any other fitness equipment with shifting mass like this? And lastly, but most importantly, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN??

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Spotlight On: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Spotlight On: Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Disclosure: While I was not compensated to write this post, I did receive these headphones at no cost from Fit Approach on behalf of Aftershokz in exchange for my review on the blog.  As always, opinions and text are all mine - I genuinely LOVE these headphones and use them just about every day.  I hope you love them, too!

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Music is everything when trying to push yourself during a workout, right?  It's the WORST when you're in the middle of a round of burpees with your favorite workout mix to pump you up and bam - no music in one ear.  Soooo frustrating, right?  Enter: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones.  These babies are LIFE CHANGING, let me tell you.  I've been using them just about every single day since I received them (not just for workouts either - more on that below) and I am OB-sessed.  Here's why...

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

The Trekz Titanium headphones sit just in front of your ears, not actually IN your ear, and use bone conduction from your cheekbones to your inner ear to transmit sound.  Sounds kinda weird right?  I know, I was skeptical too.  You mean there's nothing INSIDE my ear?  How will I be able to actually hear the music?  If they aren't IN my ear, there won't be anything blocking out the world around me so I'll be hearing everything which will distract me from my workouts!  Trust me, all these thoughts ran through my mind as I entered the gym trying these for the first time.  But you know what?  They pumped out my electronic mixes just fine, even with heavy weight lifters slamming weighted bars, and other loud sounds fitness clubs are known for.

In fact, that's the whole point behind the bone conduction technology of these headphones.  They provide really great quality sound while keeping your ears open to be able to hear your surroundings for safety.  This is especially awesome for all you outdoor runners, bikers, walkers, etc. who need to be conscious of traffic around you.  They're also amazing in the gym too when you want to blast your workout mix, but need to be aware of others working out around you.

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AfterShokz Trekz Titanium are wireless bluetooth headphones so they connect to your phone or watch without being tethered.  That's REALLY nice during a workout or when on a bike ride and you can't bother with getting tangled in the wire (or God forbid, drop your phone out of your pocket because your wire got pulled!).

I've tried these out in just about every workout scenario from cardio (jumping jacks, running, high knees, burpees, you name it) to strength & resistance training, and man, they're probably the nicest pair of headphones I've ever used!  Seriously.  They stayed put during my cardio sessions and sit comfortably on my head so they don't cause a headache.  The only downside to them that I can see is if you're doing any kind of work on your back where you have your head flat on the floor.  The back of the headband sits slightly away from the back of my head, so if I tried to lay my head down flat for, say, ab work, the headphones would push up off my cheekbones.  But that's not that huge of a drawback!  There are PLENTY of ab exercises you can do that don't involve lying down. :)

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

These headphones aren't just amazing for workouts and running either.  I've been using mine just about every night to watch Netflix from my laptop (Netflix & chill for real), and it's so nice to be able to get up and walk around if I need to while continuing to listen to the show.  (I'm currently working my way through The Ranch - anyone else watch that show??  I love it so far!)  

Also, one of the coolest features in my opinion is the ability to place and pick up phone calls, even in the middle of a Netflix show.  The headphones have a built-in noise-canceling microphone so you can chat with your friends while keeping your arms and hands free.  SUCH a game changer in my book! 

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Readers: chat with me!  Have you made the switch to wireless headphones?  Have you tried these headphones before?  How did you like them?  What tunes do you usually listen to during a workout?  What Netflix shows are you currently loving?

Spotlight On: The Terra Core

Spotlight On: The Terra-Core Trainer

Disclosure: I was gifted the Terra Core trainer from Terra-Core 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.  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!  It was released 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, Terra-Core 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 Terra Core 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!