Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How To Exercise With A Swing

The following post contains an Ellie Activewear review. I was not paid for my opinions, but was given a free outfit to wear. All opinions, as they always are, belong to me. 

If you have kids, then there might be a good chance you have fitness equipment in your backyard. If you live near a park, then you certain have access to free fitness equipment. One piece in particular: The swing. It's basically a makeshift TRX suspension trainer! So today, I thought I'd give you some pointers and share a few exercises that just might inspire you to take your workout outside.

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness
First and foremost, we need to talk about safety. The swing is a movable (and often moving) object that might show no mercy. As such, you need to take a few precautions if you're going to use a swing to exercise outside. Here are a few safety tips for swing workouts:

Safety Tips For Swing Workouts
1) Make sure the swing is securely attached to the anchor point. If it's not and it comes tumbling down, you'll fall with it—and who knows what'll ultimately fall on top of you. (Tree branch? Ow.)

2) Survey the ground below the swing. Outdoor surfaces can introduce an element of instability. Look for loose gravel, protruding tree stumps...anything that'll make your foot slip or hurt your hands.

3) Check out the swing itself for possible rough spots. Especially if your'e working with a wooden swing. Splinters aren't fun. (Double-check the chains, too.)

4) Make sure there is plenty of space around the swing. Because if you fall for whatever reason (which you won't, hopefully) you won't want to fall into a pole or someone else on a swing.

Now, where to start?

What kind of exercises can you do with a swing?
Can you do TRX exercises on a swing?

The answers are "tons" and "yes," in that order. A swing is essentially a suspended piece of fitness equipment, minus the handles. But you can still grip a swing in a variety of different ways. If your swing is bendable (like mine), you are somewhat limited. A flat, wooden swing may give you more places to grip. Ultimately, you'll have to play around to see what works for you and with yours. And don't forget about the chains. Depending on the style of the chains on your swing, you may be able to grip them comfortably, too.

Here are some exercises I did with my swing, starting with a single-leg lunge:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
Add a hop. Add a pulse. Hold some weights if you have those at home (or can get them to the park).

Side note: My intent is not to provide a full-body workout, but to inspire you to play with a swing. That said, the exercises contained in this post will hit all of your major muscle groups. If you choose to put them together, please do so with caution and while honoring your body and fitness level.

Next up, pushups:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
You might also add a pike at the top of your pushup:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
Too much? Keep them separate, or switch the pike for a tuck.

Swings make for some great hamstring curls, too:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
Of course, you'll have to check out the height of your swing. You'll ultimately want to start the hamstring curl with your legs bent to 90 degrees, give or take an inch. Anything more than that might render the exercise ineffective.

Back work:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
This close-grip row will challengeyour hand strength, too, if you're using a bendable rubber swing. If you're using a wooden swing, you might try grabbing the sides of the swing. Either way, you should be able to turn it into a high pull, too, if your shoulders allow it.

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
Let's not forget planks:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
Put both feet in the swing. Or leave one underneath and challenge your inner thighs. Come to high plank, low plank, or even reverse plank. Again, you'll want to play around which (ahem) is the point of a swing anyway (#playtime). Here are some other exercises you can do with a swing:

Exercises You Can Do With A Swing
• Side Lunges
• Assisted Pistol Squats
• TRX Burpees
• Sprinter Starts
• Triceps Presses
• Side Bends
• Rollouts

The options are endless. Use your creativity...but keep safety at the forefront of everything that you do. Speaking of "forefront," let's take a look at the tops that Ellie Activewear sent me:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
I dig the details on the bra. It's Marika brand, and so comfortable. The tank is a bit see-through for my liking...I don't think I could wear it at the gym...but it's still cute. I'm really liking the knot/tie trend that's happening right now.

Here's a closer look at the pants. 

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear
At first, I wasn't too sure about them. I felt like they were just too geometric for my taste, but dang...these tights are super comfortable. SO super comfortable. And I like the subtle mesh detailing around the calf muscles.

If you like monthly subscription boxes and wear workout clothes every day, then you might like receiving the Ellie Activewear box. It has yet to disappoint me. I mean, there's a reason it's the #1 activewear subscription box. And it's not that expensive, either! $39.95 gets you three pieces: a top, bottom and bra. Pay $10 more and you'll get at least two accessories, too. Here are some other posts I've written about Ellie:

May 2017 Box
June 2017 Box

This creeper:

fitness, fashion, fit fashion, workout clothes, workout, outdoor fitness, ellie activewear

Question: Do you use any unconventional items as fitness equipment? Have you ever worked out with a swing? If so, what exercises did you do?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 2017 POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review

The following post is sponsored by POPSUGAR Select. I was sent the August box for free in exchange for a fair and honest review, which is par for the course around here. All opinions are always my own.

Thinking about signing up for a monthly subscription box? Not sure which one to choose? Let me convince you that the POPSUGAR Must Have box is a great choice. Fashion-forward, trend-loving  style-mavens will love this perfectly curated box of goodies. I promise you: It's my favorite. And, it makes a great gift. At just $39.99 per month, the Must Have box over $100 worth of full-size products on your door step every month.

Let's take a look at the August POPSUGAR Must Have box:

subscription, monthly box, POPSUGAR
It happens to be a particularly special month. POPSUGAR Must Have is five years old! Every box centers around a theme, so clearly this month's theme is "celebrate." First up, this Bouncy Mask from First Aid Beauty:

POPSUGAR Must Have Box
Truth be told, I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my bathroom counter just waiting for me. I've been getting into face masks and scrubs a lot more than I ever have, and I just purchased a new one from LUSH that I put to good use. Bouncy Mask, get ready. You're up next.

Cheers to these cookies, though (and the adorable tray):

POPSUGAR Must Have Box
Gluten-free, and every bit delicious! And widely available, too. I can purchase this brand at my local grocery store, I bey you can, too.

Straight to my hear with this notebook:

POPSUGAR Must Have Box
I hoard notebooks like no other. I think I have at least six unused notebooks on the shelf in my closet. I can't stop buying them! (Especially when you can buy them at TJ Maxx for next to nothing). Also, I love that POPSUGAR Must Have collaborated with Jeep to #BreakTheDawn. Mornings are hard! Here's how they suggest you make the most of yours:

1) Put the phone down.
2) Make a to-do list.
3) Hit the gym.
4) Press play.
5) Eat smart.

How many of those things do you do?

Also, have you ever heard of Shoptiques?
This online boutique is new to me:

monthly subscription service, Shoptiques, friendship bracelet
I'm looking forward to using this gift card. Check this out: It's worth $25. Proof that you get your money's worth when you order this curated monthly box.

Interested? Say "yes" to the box! Use code PARTY at checkout to take $10 off your first box.

So worth it.

Question: Are you big on face masks? Which one do you use the most? Do you subscribe to a monthly subscription box? Which one?

Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 IDEA World and BlogFest Recap

The "Super Bowl of fitness conventions" took place last month in Las Vegas, and I'm still flying high on all of the energy I got from it. The IDEA World Fitness Convention is an absolute must for any fitness professional. You need to go at least once. I go every two years because that's what works for me. I get so much information and inspiration from this conference that, realistically, it's almost impossible to process everything. Hence, the recap delay.

But I want to tell you all about it now. Let's talk about what I learned, and why you should attend.

fitness, blogger, convention, idea fit, sweat pink, fit approach

Whenever I attend a conference, I do my homework first. I research sessions and pick those that will help me be the best trainer/instructor/fitness director that I can be. I also pick a few sessions that will entertain and/or motivate me—because it can't be all work and no play, eh? Essentially, this leads to a list of goals and things I'm looking forward to.

This also gives me an easy way to process the convention when I get home.

Let's take a look:

1) Vegas, baby!
Oh, Vegas. You crazy, weird, jaw-dropping and highly entertaining little place. It was my first time. I highly recommend the Aria casino. I didn't stay there, but I spent a lot of time walking around the place. It's beautiful. And the restaurants are Aria are delicious. Specifically, the buffet, Julian Serrano's Tapas and Five50 Pizza Bar. I want to go back just so I can eat at all of these places again. Which, by the way, is why I don't have any pictures of the food I ate—because I was too focused on it. But here's a picture of me in front of the Las Vegas sign because #tourist:

A post shared by Tara (@adailydoseoffit) on

And also, the Bellagio fountains because #vegas:

vegas, nevada, eiffel tower, paris
2) Dinner with the Momentum Jewelry Crew
It's always fun to connect with other health and fitness bloggers. And to meet some of the brands we get the opportunity to work with. I've been a huge fan of Momentum for a very long time. Amy (the owner) is absolutely wonderful. She and I shared a hotel room, and spent a lot of time talking about the Momentum Jewelry blog. Long story short, fun things are coming and I'm going to be working with her very closely to facilitate the posts. More on that later!

3) Energetic and Educational Sessions
I don't even know where to start. I did a G2S Workout full of ground-to-standing exercises. At one point, I was doing forward rolls. Toward the end, I was on the ground with my hands behind my back prisoner-style trying to stand up without using my arms. I love non-traditional exercises like that. They really emphasize functional training that strengthens activities of daily living. I also did a Schwinn cycling workout with Amy Dixon that left me in a pile of sweat:

Schwinn cycling, IDEA World Fitness Convention, spinning instructor, continuing education
Spinning is a class that drains me physically and mentally. I love it, but it's not a class I can plan very easily for a variety of reasons, so taking sessions like this A) gives me new teaching and cueing techniques, and B) totally motivates me to get in the saddle. Also awesome: Indo-Row, which taught me how to row correctly and efficiently. It was the most time I've ever spent on a rower, and it was probably one of the best workouts I did at the conference.

I also listened to a lecture for Group Fitness Directors, which gave me some tools to effectively manage a staff that works less than part time. It was nice to hear that some of my struggles are not unique, and pretty commonplace in this industry!

Bloggers, this is where I tell you that BlogFest is full of educational and inspirational sessions, too! I sat in on a few sessions that addressed SEO and how to make old content new...seriously, so good. If you're new to the fitness blogging scene, this is absolutely a conference you need to attend it's incredibly welcoming (and because you get IDEA World, too).

4) Kick It With Kaisa

Vital Proteions, IDEA World Fitness Convention, BlogFest
OMG. This session was everything. KaisaFit is so awesome, strong and motivating...and the best part, she's all that in person, too. So many big-name fitness folks are super high on their fame. But this girl, she's real. And in it for the right reasons. I enjoyed every minute of her workout. After it, she talked about Vital Proteins, a company she originally approached because she loves their stuff that much. Her favorite product was a collagen powder, which I ended up buying at the expo.

collagen, supplements, IDEA World, fitness convention, KaisaFit
So many people are buzzing about the benefits of collagen: Bone and joint health, skin and hair improvements, more energy, etc. I'm not big on supplements, but like what this can do for me. Kaisa talked about the Lavender and Honey Beauty Water, which sounds and tastes pretty good. I thought maybe it could also help me drink more water, which it has.

5) Brands, brands and more brands!
You won't find a better expo at any other fitness convention! It's part of the reason they call it the "Super Bowl of fitness conventions," I'm sure. I spent all my free time wandering up and down the aisles, and came home with a giant bag full of goodies to prove it. Some highlights:

Keiser: They didn't have any bikes on the fitness floor, but my Schwinn session (on Schwinn bikes) reinforced my belief in Keiser cycling bikes as being the best.

La Colombe Coffee Roasters: They had a Starbucks on site, which I hit up in the morning, but samples from La Colombe kept me going throughout the afternoon.

Prana: I literally bought something from their booth on three separate occasions. They wouldn't have my size in something, then they would. And everything was 50% off, so I basically had to keep buying.

Trigger Point: The vibrating foam roller is epic. My calf muscles were tights, so I just sat there for a bit and let the vibration release them. It was relaxing, even more so because you don't have to actually roll over the vibrating foam roller. Ah, so nice. Might have to get a demo version for the running store I work at.

TRX: Always a great booth to walk by! With all those straps out, people were constantly at play, so I got some awesome ideas to use with my clients.

Takeya: Say what you will about your Swell bottles, I think Takeya bottles are equally impressive and I absolutely love, love, love mine. Plus, it's pink.

pink water bottle, rowing machine, new balance, fitness convention, idea world
But that's only six reasons why the expo was so awesome. I can't even begin to list all the little toys I saw that I now want...various types of sandbags and weighted hammers being at the top of the list.

If I don't have you convinced yet, here are five reasons you need to attend IDEA World:

1) You'll learn from the leaders in the fitness industry.
2) You'll earn a bulk of your continuing education credits.
3) There is never a dull moment.
4) New and upcoming equipment is yours to play with.
5) The crowd is welcome, supportive, and inspirational.

Trust me, it's worth the cost and the trip just need to go.

Question: Have you ever been to a fitness or blogging convention? If so, which one and what was your experience?


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