Nordictrack ACT Commercial Pro Elliptical – New Model For 2015 – Is It Right For You?

The Nordictrack ACT Commercial Pro elliptical has been around for several years now, in one form or another.

The main draw of this trainer is that it is a center-drive design. This means that instead of one large flywheel in front or in back of the pedals, it has two smaller flywheels on either side of the pedals.

This has several advantages including placing the pedals closer together for a more natural feeling workout. It also makes for a more compact elliptical.

While Nordictrack currently makes 3 different ACT ellipticals, the ACT Commercial trainer is the most affordable model. It has been upgraded for 2015. So what do you get and is it still a good deal?

Here's what you need to know:

# 1 Added Tablet Holder

Nordictrack has added a sturdy bracket above the console to hold your tablet. This is a great way to watch your favorite shows or movies (or just surf the net) while working out.

Plus, because it does not cover the console, you can still get feedback on your workout stats as you watch your tablet.

The tablet will also integrate with iFit LIVE for a better graphics experience as you run world trails on your trainer.

# 2 More Resistance Levels

The new model also comes with a few more resistance levels (24 in total). This gives you a lot of room to grow as you get in better shape.

# 3 Sleeker Look – Less Bulky

While you still get a heavy 23 pound flywheel for added stability, Nordictrack has removed some of the bulk at the base of this trainer.

This gives a more updated, sleeker look – and again, it's much more compact to fit in with smaller home gym areas.

# 4 More Workout Programs

Nordictrack has also added more workout programs to the new model (32 in all). If you do not plan on using the iFit LIVE, this is a great way to continuously challenge yourself.

# 5 Upgraded Stride Adjust

One of the best things about this elliptical is that you can choose from 3 different stride lengths: 18, 20 and 22 inches. This means you can find a great fit for you – or for anyone in the family.

The stride adjust has been made a bit easier with a knobs located on the lower workout arms. You can actually set them in quarter-inch increments to really customize your stride length.

So those are the basic upgrades you get with the new Nordictrack ACT Commercial Pro elliptical. You still get other popular features of the older model as well like the iPod dock with speakers, bright backlit console and adjustable footpedals.

So if you're looking for a center drive design elliptical that comes in under $ 1000 with a great warranty and lots of entertainment option, this one may be worth considering!

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Great Benefits of Kettlebell Training

A Kettlebell is a piece of exercise equipment that consistently resembles a cannonball with a handle attached to it. These items are generally made from cast iron or cast steel. They were developed back in the 1700s in Russia. They have been used by athletes to increase their strength and they were even used by the Soviet army in their physical training for their troops.

Some Kettlebells are actually bags filled with sand instead of the cast iron cannonballs, but even the bags are completely shaped so they provide an unstable force. These items are often used in swinging motions and they provide excellent cardiovascular responses and they provide good strength training without the person having to repeat one exercise for several repetitions over a long period of time.

• Provided as much, if not more, cardio exercise as a treadmill does
• Can help you create functional strength in muscles without your having to do monotonous isolated repetitions
• Creates flexibility without requiring long, tedious poses
• It is a combination of strength training and cardio training
• You do not need a lot of expensive equipment to do the exercises
• Anyone, of any shape, size, or age can do some type of Kettlebell exercises
• The exercises are not boring because there is such a variety of things you can do
• This is the perfect exercise for people who have a limited amount of time to devote to their daily exercise regimen
• Kettlebell exercises helps to create a denser muscle mass and muscle burns more calories so it eliminates fat stores in the body at a higher rate than if you were simply engaging in cardio exercises. Cardio exercises get the blood flowing and improves circulation but when you really want to burn the fat away you have to include strength training
• Is effective at working every muscle in your body
• Kettlebells help to strengthen ligaments and tendons. The increased strength of ligaments and tendons means your joints will be stronger and less likely to be injured
• Kettlebell exercises do not cause women to bulk up in muscle mass like lifting traditional barbells will.
• It is very easy to learn how to use the Kettlebell exercises
• Kettlebell exercises increase your coordination

So exercising Kettlebells can not only be very much helpful for the athletes and they can increase their strength with the help of Kettlebells but also it can help other people too if they exercise it.

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5 Best Gym Machines for Beginners

Getting started on a workout routine can be intimidating, especially at the gym with all the fit experienced conditioned athletes running around making using complex gym equipment like it was second nature to them. Using gym equipment incorrectly not only does not help, it can also harm you and lead to injuries which will only hinder you on your path to fitness. Some machines require prior knowledge and possibly a trainer to help teach you the proper form to truly utilize the machine while others only require you using your natural instincts. Here is a compiled list of the easiest and most effective machines for beginning gym goers. These machines are easy to use and intuitive.

1. Incline Chest Press

The incline chest press, as the name implies, is a great and easy to use machine to workout your chest. The incline chest press usually has an incline bench where the user sets and two bars in front around chest level. To properly use this machine, grip the handle bars around 8 inches wider than the shoulder in order to target the chest. Keep the elbows on the same level as your hands and do not let them dip down or else you will not get the full benefits. Extend your arm and slowly return to starting position. Repeat until you've completed your rep.

2. Leg Press

The leg press is one of the easiest and most effective machines to use when you're focusing on strengthening your legs. The leg press comes in a variety of different positions from separated to linear, but the general concept is the same. Whichever way the seat is positioned, make sure your leg is at a 90 degree angle to the plate. Full extend your leg and push the plate forward, then slowly return to starting position to complete your rep.

3. Treadmill

As our blog post has shown, the treadmill is popular for a reason. Extremely easy to use, there are an abundance of them at any gym and one of the best ways to burn calories quickly. It's just natural instinct after all so any beginner can hop on and reap the full benefits of the treadmill.

4. Seated Row Machine

You always hear about arm day, chest day and leg day, but rarely do you hear back days stated. While you do not need to dedicate a full gym session to strengthen your back, it is absolutely vital to workout your back before you start lifting some of the really heavy weights. Having a strong back will prevent injuries and just improve your overall fitness. To use this machine, adjust the seat until you can grip the bars comfortably at full extension. Make sure your back is straight, grip the bars and pull the handle toward you. Squeeze the shoulder blades at the end of the rep and slowly return the handle to starting position.

5. Lat Pull Down

This is a great beginning step to being able to do chin-ups. The movement is very similar to a chin-up but does not require you to be able to lift your entire body weight, which can be a very difficult task if you're just beginning to work out. Start with low weights until you can complete a rep with good form. Slide your leg under the thigh pad and grip the bar slightly more than shoulder width apart. Pull the bar down toward your chest while keeping your back straight. Hold it for two or three seconds and return to starting position.

These are some of the best and easiest machines to use for starting off a gym routine!

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Some Important Tips to Stay Healthy and Fit

Do you want to stay healthy and fit? If yes, please go through this article. This article will let you know how to do this. In this article we will discuss on some important healthy fitness tips. As these tips cause no side effects on our body, these are called healthy fitness tips.

Staying healthy and fit does not mean looking good and attractive from the outside. It means being strong from the inside. A healthy and fit person stays physically active and mentally sound. He feels energetic in every piece of work he partakes. He is ready to face many challenging tasks in his everyday life.

Given below are some important healthy fitness tips:

Get enough sleep (at least seven to eight hours in a day)

Getting enough sleep is always good. Sleeping well makes us energetic and healthy. Lack of sleep affects our metabolism, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you do not get adequate sleep, you will suffer from the lack of concentration, poor memory and less immunity power. Inadequate sleep affects cardiovascular health. It creates negative impact on hormones and motor skills. A good night sleep heals our bodies. It revitalizes us and makes us energetic.

Eat healthy food

Eating healthy food is always good for our health. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking whole grain is always good. Take nutritious foods and vitamins to increase your immunity power. Include protein and carbohydrates food in your diet. Eat fish, fresh meat, poultry and beans rotationally. Increase the protein size and decrease the fat size of your food. Your calorie intake should be according to your height and body weight. Do not take junk and fast foods like pizza, burger, egg roll, etc. Avoid fried and deep-fried foods. Furthermore, avoiding processed and sugar-laden foods is always advisable.

Drink plenty of water:

Drinking plenty of water helps you stay healthy and fit. Human body is made mostly of water. This is why drinking habit is very good for keeping our bodies hydrated. It cleanses our bowls and flushes out harmful toxin from our bodies through skin and urine.

Workout machines

Using a workout machine is very good for making us strong and stout. Workout machines help us get a very strong set of abdominal by burning extra fats from there. This machine has the ability to give movements to your stiff limbs. It helps you be active and swift.

Do not take stress

As stress has a detrimental effect on your body, you should never be stressful. Taking stress can cause myriad problems in you. To combat with it, you can take freehand exercise. Side by side, you can practice meditation regularly.

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Resistance Loop Bands

First of all, I have no vested interest in resistance loop bands, but I'm interested in them and I'm benefiting from their use. I recently purchased a set of four. There are many competitive loop bands to choose from, and several brands provide the strong, durable variety that I'm using.

The resistance loop band can be used effectively with programs such as Pilates, yoga, CrossFit, BeachBody, or Brazilian Butt Lift. But you can simply use these at home or work or even while traveling or vacationing. They are inexpensive and easy to carry in your pocket. And I've discovered that proper use of these bands can stimulate your fat burning machine and help to develop that sculpted body you've always wanted. Additionally, resistance loop bands can be used for rehabilitation or therapy for numerous injuries. They promote mobility, balance, coordination, and strength.

The resistance loop bands can be found in two primary sizes, 3 by 10 “or 4 by 12”. They are also available in a number of resistance gradations ranging from five pounds to 200 pounds.

There are over six hundred muscles in the human body and most can be strengthened through use of the resistance loop band. But several factors should first be considered:

  • Before starting any new exercise program you should talk to your physician.
  • Be sure to examine your bands before each workout. You should look for deterioration, tears, or scratches. If a band breaks it could cause injury.
  • Each exercise should be performed two to three times per week while ensuring that the same muscle group is not exercised two days in a row. You can usually start with ten repetitions, wait a minute, and then perform ten more to complete a set. When no longer challenged, increase repetitions, increase sets, or increase resistance levels.

There are about two dozen exercises and everyone will have their favorites. One of mine is the Archer. Hold one end of the band in your left hand with left arm extended to the left, parallel to the ground at shoulder level. Grasp the other end of the loop band with your right hand and pull back like you're shooting a bow & arrow. Hold for the count of two and slowly return to the beginning position. Perform ten reps and switch sides to complete a set.

It's that easy and I hope you, like me, enjoy the routines and the final product!

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A Versatile Fitness Device – The BOSU Ball

For the last few years whenever I go into a workout area I'll probably see a little fitness device that looks like half of an exercise ball. It is a personal fitness tool that was developed in 1999 called the BOSU ball, which means “both sides utilized.” When it is used correctly it can enhance virtually any workout, as it requires a person to use muscles to stabilize the body. It can be made use of by exercisers at every level, from beginner to advanced.

Using the BOSU ball can add great flexibility to a workout for a person. If used when the downside is on the floor it can be used for aerobic exercises, and when it is inserted it can be used for balance training. Balance is an important part of any workout, and if just starting out it might seem like a little too much. Merely balancing on the inserted ball with using the support of the wall might be all a person can handle. But studies have shown it can help. Older adults have improved posture stability and balance that will reduce the risk of falling.

With the dome side up it can be used like a regular exercise ball. It is to help you to stretch as well as do a number of strength exercises like crunches, lunges, push-ups and planks. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Plank exercises. With the ball flat side down but your forearms on the top of the dome straighten the body out in the plank position, with only the toes on the floor. Planks are a great exercise for the core area, and especially for the lower back. But doing them on a BOSU ball will enhance the workout, giving you more benefits in less time.

2. One-legged bridge. While lying on your back place either foot on the dome and extend the opposite leg towards the ceiling, arms on the floor with palms up. With your foot as lower body support work the torso up to form a straight line from chest to knee. Hold this position for two or three seconds and then repeat about 15 times.

3. The mountain climber. For a good exercise of the core and shoulder area, flip the ball on its dome side down and grip the sides of the platform in the plank position. Then quickly bring each knee to your chest as if you are running, and continue this for one minute.

4. Push-ups. Start in the same position as the mountain climber, but instead of assuming the running action; perform simple push-ups from this position. It will not be easy to keep the body from tilting over, which of course in time will enhance your balance.

These are just four exercises that you can try with the BOSU ball, but almost anything that you do as a regular exercise will be enhanced with this simple tool. Just be careful however, to not try to do balancing exercises on it that you are not equipped to handle. Safe exercise should always be your first priority, and falling over and spraining something is not going to help your exercise program.

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Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer – 3 Things To Know Before You Buy For 2015!

Thinking about a Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer? These crosstrainers are some of the most popular machines on the market right now.

This is because Nordic track puts a lot of innovative, unique features (which we'll cover below) on their machines that you do not get with other brands.

They're always pushing the envelope – and because they're such a big company, they have the money and engineering talent to build a better home elliptical for less.

What makes these trainers different? What should you be looking for? Here are 3 main things you should know:

# 1 Different Kinds of Trainers

Nordictrack offers all 3 different styles of trainers including front drive (the flywheel is placed in front of the pedals), rear drive (flywheel is placed behind the pedals) and center drive (two smaller flywheels on either side of the pedals).

Each design has it's own benefits. For example, front drive machines tend to be more stable and give you more of a climbing / running motion.

Rear drive machines tend to be the most affordable design and give you a more flat, road-running motion.

Center drive crosstrainers place your feet closer together and many people prefer this. They also are more compact and take up less space than other designs – giving you more room in your home.

# 2 Strong Construction Basics

While Nordic track ellipticals offer a range of starter to commercial-grade models, the overall construction basics are excellent.

For example, you tend to get very heavy flywheels (20 pounds and up) with these trainers. A heavier flywheel helps you get a smoother feeling ride without the jerky stops-and-starts of cheaper crosstrainers.

Many models also have adjustable footpedals – so you can adjust the toe-heel angle to a fit that is most comfortable for you.

Also, the stride lengths on these machines are very healthy, starting around 18 inches and all the way up to 38 inches! And some machines even let you adjust the stride. So this is great for multiple user homes as everyone can find the right fit for them.

A longer stride length is beneficial because it more fully works your leg muscles, giving you a more productive, higher calorie-burning workout. (It also feels more natural!)

# 3 New Innovations, Designs and Entertainment Options

Nordictrack was the first home fitness equipment brand to add a web browser to the console of their ellipticals. So you can surf the net and read emails while you workout.

They also added iFit LIVE – which basically takes your elliptical online. From there you can download new workouts from celebrity trainers like Jillian Michaels where she coaches you through your workout.

You can also race against your friends online. You can also map out new trails to run all over the world and watch as actual landmarks pass you by in the console screen.

The latest innovation Nordic Track has come out with the freestride trainer. This is a brand new type of elliptical that actually lets YOU set your own stride.

You can do short stair-climbing motors to longer jogging type strides to super-long hurdling type of strides. So your body never gets a chance to adapt to one set motion – which is great for continual maximum calorie-burning.

Plus there's almost zero impact to your workout – great for people sentenced to injury or with knee problems.

So those are some of the things you should know about Nordic Track elliptical trainers before you buy. There are lots of great options out there. Take your time and have fun!

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How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor Effectively?

Of late, heart rate monitors are very much in use because of their effectiveness. These are devices that have been designed to be worn during any strenuous activity. The monitors measure and record heart rate to give you an instant feedback. It is an apt device that determines your heart's fitness, which is the key to aerobic endurance, also known as cardiovascular respiratory endurance. For racing as well as health reasons, aerobic endurance remains a key point for every runner. The best HRM will effectively aid in tracking progress.

Some key functions of HRM are mentioned below:

• Effective use of heart monitor helps in tracking and recording heart rate during workout. These tools are not just designed to provide a complete record of rate, but they give you more accurate results too compared to manual methods. If you stop during your run to count pulse rate it will disrupt the workout as well as your pulse rate. Here, manual detection is not a scientific way.

• Cardiovascular fitness contributes to your speed and efforts as a runner. Correspondingly, you should e able to track oval cardiovascular fitness and tailor your workout goals in such a way so that it is effective for your health. Measuring heart work-rate is the only accurate method to determine benefits derived from workout.

• For competitive runs and marathons, it is very important to prevent over-exertion and taxing training. Using a Polar heart rate monitor can actually help you prevent over-training and stress the body beyond its means, which maximizes the efficiency of training and minimizes the risk of injury. The monitor can be used to maintain a specific ceiling and avoid depleting the glycogen stores of the body.

How to Determine Maximum Heart Rate?

HRM is primarily used to determine the maximum rate of a person. It is one vital parameter that should be known to every athlete and runner before working out or training. It will allow you to workout safely and prevent risks of injuries.

Maximum heart rate can be defined in 2 ways:

• Exercise test measurement
• Age-predicted formula

An accurate way to determine individual rate of the heart (maximum) is through clinical test. Usually, clinical treadmill stress test is done by an exercise physiologist or cardiologist. Testing is highly recommended for men and women over 35, obese or overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or having a history of cardiac disease.
Predicted maximum rate is calculated using a mathematical formula, also known as age-adjusted formula.

• For women: 226 minus age = Maximum heart rate
• For men: 220 minus age = Maximum heart rate

These formulas only apply in case of adults.

The third and most effective way is to use a monitor. HRMs are widely available in the market. If you buy it, make sure you are using it consistently. It supplies you, the user, with adequate information about training and development.

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What Is the Best Way to Use a Heart Rate Monitor to Get Fit?

Heart rate monitors are useful tools for exercise, especially for novice runners and athletes. Even ace athletes require these devices to keep track of their heart rate at the peak level of an activity or training. Monitors are typically designed to be worn on the head, wrist or across the chest, in the form of a strap, to measure the rate. It is imperative to monitor the heart rate in order to know whether or not a person is exercising at the required intensity to prevent a sudden setback.

Structure and Design of Heart Rate Monitors

Most of the monitors usually do not come with a display; they have to be either connected to a smartphone app or sports watch to get the reading. There are several other features of a good-quality monitor, such as custom heart rate, total calories burned, and graphical displays. The first step to using a monitor is to target and identify the required heart rate for training.

Experts Speak

Physiologists and coaches allege that the best way to measure the intensity and effectiveness of a workout session is to calculate the rate at which the heart beats. However, there were no means to do so until recently. Manual reading was all they had. Now, with the best monitors available in the market, runners and athletes can directly access their rate and even get an immediate and clear feedback while working out, and even after. These monitors are detailed to indicate whether a runner can run faster, slower or even stop and go back home.

Different Uses of a Heart Rate Monitor

There are several ways to utilize a monitor.

– Manually, a monitor can be used to take morning pulse. Lying in the bed, just after waking up, reading can be taken. This will keep a track of heart rate in the morning, after waking up, and help the user to spot any change, quickly. When morning pulse level is elevated, it is a sign of over-training or coming down. In either case, an increased morning rate is an indication that the body requires rest.

– Polar heart rate monitor can also be used to run at Aerobic Training Pulse or ATP. ATP defines the slow heart rate of a person while running and still getting the health benefits and aerobic benefits from workout. ATP is a vital parameter that determines the pace of running or working out at least 80 percent of the times. Firstly, one has to determine the maximum rate – 220 minus age, to arrive at a figure. So, a man of 40 should have a maximum rate of 180 (220-40). ATP is determined as 60 percent of maximum rate. For a 40-year old runner, ATP would be 108. Using monitors, runners to learn the intensity of their training. Once they adapt to the feeling, they can reduce pace and intensity to ensure better recovery after hard runs. This also improves vitality and fitness.

A good-quality monitor will allow you to access the most efficient and simple feedback tool humans possess – the heart. With a monitor, users are likely to train more scientifically and smarter than before.

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Fitness Boot Camp – A Great Help

The fitness industry is getting popular these days due to the increase in demand of health fitness. This is because people are becoming conscious about their body shapes. Now, there is an increase amount of boot camps, gyms, personal trainers and fitness centers in the market. Most people work according to the instructions of their trainers to get best results. Excellent results can not be attained only by joining the gym, it requires better programs and techniques. Fitness camps are the best option to get the best value for money and best professional results.

Personal trainers:

Personal trainers cost 5 times more than these fitness camps. In this fitness area you can not get attention like personal trainers, but motivation will be a lot more than trainers. Boot camps will motivate you more to work hard. It will provide you with more encouraging and inspiring environment. So that you can work out more, boost your metabolism and burn your fat and get better fitness shape.

All the fitness programs are not the same, you need to select the best one for you. In that case you must keep following points in your mind:

Type of camp:

Different fitness areas are designed specifically on the basis of gender. Women prefer to join women based fitness program and men prefer to join men based fitness program. At present, boot camps are described as group training centers. You will find a professional coaching in these centers. Do get the necessary information about the type of training provided in the boot camp.

Skills of the trainers:

Be sure that your trainers are highly skilled. They must be certified by the related authorities. There are national standards for the creation of fitness programs and appointment of the coaches.


Another important thing to notice is the cost. Sometimes you find the camps costing less and providing best of opportunities to achieve full fitness for your body.

Nutritional advice:

This is an important area that is ignored by many fitness programs. Without a balanced diet plan you can never achieve the best results. Only training and work out is not enough. If you come across such a boot center that emphasizes on the eating habits along with the other training programs then you must go for it.

In a nutshell, fitness boot camp is the most effective way of getting your body in shape. You can see the results easily after a few days. So, better choose this fitness center for your fitness.

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Hand and Finger Exercisers – How to Choose the One Best for You

Do you want to strengthen or condition your hands or fingers?

Perhaps you play a sport like golf or tennis and want to strengthen your grip. Or maybe you play a musical instrument and want to condition your fingers.

Whatever the reason, it's important to pick the right exercise device so you can get the right result.

And the best choice for many applications is a hand and finger exerciser.

Here's why …

The Advantages of a Hand and Finger Exerciser

It is a versatile exercise device. Its advantages include:

  • It can strengthen each finger individually. This allows you to build up your weaker fingers as well as your stronger ones. This not only gives you a better grip, but also better control of the item you are gripping. In many cases, control is more important than mere grip strength. And building individual finger strength is crucial for musicians.
  • It can improve the dexterity, agility, and independent action of your fingers. This is crucial for musicians. And this will improve your typing too.
  • It is effective for building up your wrists and forearms, as well as your hands and fingers.

The Key Features to Look For

Rugged, High-Quality Construction:

It is gong to get heavy, tough use. That's to be expected.

Therefore, it is important that the one you choose is well-built and constructed of the right materials. It can not be cheap or flimsy. And it must operate smoothly and quietly with no binding or sticking.

So make sure it is built to last and provides smooth operation.

Adjustable Resistance:

Hand and finger exercise devices come in two types: fixed resistance and adjustable resistance.

The first-generation units have their resistance fixed. Each button has the same resistance level and the level can not be changed. Typically, these devices come in four or five resistances ranging from about 1.5 lb up to about 9 lb. Some manufacturers also offer extra-heavy resistance units going up to 11 lb or 13 lb.

The problem with these devices is that they are inefficient. Because the strength of your fingers variaries considering one to another, any given fixed-resistance unit is only going to be suitable for working out one or two fingers at a time. And you will have to buy up to four separate units to cover the full resilience range needed to exercise your hand and all of your fingers.

Also, many of the first generation units have dual spring systems that make it hard to work out individual fingers. There is a top spring on each button connected to a plastic body. The body is then typically connected to the base of the exerciser by three more springs. This type of unit is satisfactory for working out the hands by squeezing all four fingers together. But they are awkward and difficult to control when trying to workout one finger at a time, especially with precise, independent movements.

A much better choice is the second-generation devices that have a single spring system with adjustable resistance on each button. Their resistance range typically covers that of four of the fixed resistance type, allowing one unit to meet all of your exercise needs. These units allow the resistance to be optimized for each finger in every exercise. Because of this, they are more efficient and more cost-effective to use.

Make sure you purchase an exerciser with a single spring system and with adjustable resistance on each button. The resistance range should be about 3 lb to 8-9 lb.

Five Buttons:

The first-generation devices have four buttons, one for each finger.

Some of the second generation devices now have five buttons, providing increased functionality. The fifth button allows you to do exercises with your fingers extended, which are great for musicians. These units simulate the conditions experienced when playing chords on the guitar, piano or other instrument when your fingers are spread wide apart.

If you are a musician, a five-button device will be your best choice.

How to Shop For a Hand and Finger Exerciser

A good way to shop for an exerciser is to check out the reviews on online stores, especially on Amazon. Amazon aggressively polices their reviews and will remove any that they believe are dishonest or fraudulent.

Online stores can provide a rich selection of exercise devices and the reviews will tell you the strong and weak points of each one. They will also often tell you how effective each one was in meeting the goals of the reviewer.

So check out a wide selection of exercise devices at your favorite online store and use the reviews to guide your final selection.

Summing Up

Here is your action plan for choosing your hand and finger exerciser.

1. Define the features you want:

  • Rugged, well-built and high-quality – Essential
  • Adjustable resistance from about 3 lb to 8 – 9 lb on each button – Essential
  • Single spring system – Essential
  • 5th Button for finger extension exercises – Optional, but very valuable for musicians

2. Go to Amazon or other online retailers offering a wide variety of hand and finger exercise devices

3. Select units that have the features you want and read their reviews

4. Based on the reviews and unit specifications, purchase the unit that best meets your exercise needs

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Best Elliptical Machine To Lose Weight – 3 Options To Help You Burn Calories Faster

Looking for the best elliptical machine to lose weight? Elliptical trainers have come a long way since the first one was introduced by Precor in 1995.

Today's crosstrainers let you burn more calories than ever – with several different design options for a more comfortable workout.

With that in mind, here are 3 different elliptical trainer options that can help you burn more calories and lose weight faster than other machines:

# 1. NordicTrack Freestrider

The NordicTrack Freestride trainer is a variable motion elliptical – similar to a regular elliptical but instead of a fixed stride length, you can choose your own stride length as you workout (based on how hard and which way you push on the pedals).

In fact, you can get strides of up to 38 inches. Most standard elliptical machines only give you strides of around 18 – 22 inches.

So you can choose a short, stair-like stride, a medium jogging stride or a full throttle hurdling stride, depending on your goals.

Having this flexibility means you'll more easily find a stride that's right for you – so you're more likely to stay on the elliptical longer (because it's comfortable) and burn more calories.

Also, there's a power incline function which changes the slope of your running path. This recruits more muscle groups and again burns more calories.

Another bonus? A full-color web browser. So you can read emails, watch YouTube videos or catch up on business news – again, a great way to stay working out longer and burning more calories.

# 2. Bowflex Max Trainer

The Bowflex Max is a new twist on a traditional elliptical. It combines the motion of an elliptical with a stair climber – and adds in upper body workout arms that you often see with elliptical machines.

The main benefit? Using the Bowflex Max, you can burn 2.5 times more calories than a regular elliptical, treadmill or stair climber. In fact exercisers in the Bowflex lab burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes. That will have you slimming down very quickly!

Another bonus is that this machine is very compact – great for smaller workout areas or home gyms. And it's also super low impact, making it ideal for those with knee issues or shin splints.

# 3. Yowza Miami Crosstrainer

While Yowza is not as well known as Bowflex or NordicTrack, their new Miami trainer gives you some amazing benefits when it comes to weight loss.

The moving arms of this elliptical move side to side instead of back and forth – more like a steering wheel. This helps to trim your core.

Also, it comes with an “intelligent” scale that monitors minute changes in your weight. The scale senses these changes and then communicates with the trainer, which will then make you work harder if you're putting on any extra pounds.

The downside to this trainer is that it's a bit expensive – around $ 3000. But if you want the latest technology in your workouts, it might be worth considering.

So those are 3 of the best elliptical machines to lose weight. They're each built to burn maximum calories and help you get more from your fitness routine.

You'll be noting looser clothes in no time on any of these crosstrainers!

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How You Can Build A Home Gym On A Budget

You want to avoid expensive gym memberships, but are now wondering if it'll actually be any cheaper to build your own home gym. After looking at some gym equipment options, you can see that many do not quite fit into your budget.

But not to worry. It's perfectly possible to build a home gym on almost any budget, so you do not have to sacrifice your fitness just because you do not want to spend a fortune.

Let's go over the main pieces of equipment to get into place if you want to build your home gym on a budget.

An Exercise Ball

The first thing to get into place is an exercise ball. These are great for not only working your core, but you can also perform other exercises on them such as chest presses, shoulder presses, lateral rises, and so forth, which will make your muscles contract that much harder as you aim to stay balanced.

For the ultimate challenge, try performing a push-up on the exercise ball. This will work not only the entire upper body, but your core as well.

Some Resistance Bands

Moving along, you might also want to consider picking up some resistance bands to begin your strength work with. The nice thing about these is that they can tuck right into a drawer so they're easy to put away after you finish with them. For those exercising in a very small space, they will be ideal.

The drawback to these however is that they will not provide as much resistance as you get stronger, so you might find yourself feeling unchallenged. At that point, you'll need to move into external weight options.


Which brings us to the next point – dumbbells. Picking up a few sets of rubber hex dumbbells are perfect for performing a very wide range of different exercises with to challenge each muscle in the body.

The nice thing about hex dumbbells is because they are rubber, they will not harm any floor so you can use them with confidence.

Be sure that you do pick up a few different weight levels so that you can easily progress as you get stronger.

With this, you may also want to pick up a dumbbell rack as well to store your dumbbells on.


Another alternative option that you may wish to consider is kettlebells. Kettlebells are one of the hottest new trends in fitness and will challenge you in a similar way a dumbbell will only allow for a different range of exercises.

Performing exercises such as the kettlebell swing or the clean and press will have you working your entire body, giving you a very strong metabolic boosting workout. You would not be able to perform similar exercises with dumbbells, so this is why having some kettlebells is nice as well.

Just like with dumbbells, kettlebells come in a variety of different weight levels, so pick up a few so that you can easily progress over time with them.

An Ab Wheel

If getting a firm flat core is an important goal of yours, along with getting the exercise ball, you'll also want to consider picking up an ab wheel as well. This is one of the most challenging ab exercises you could perform and will also work the shoulders and lower back while you're at it.

Be sure that you position yourself on carpet or on a mat when using this in order to avoid experiencing knee pain.

A Barbell With Plate Weight

For those who are ready to step up their game, picking up a barbell along with some plate weight will be the next move to make. These will be a little pricier, however will allow you to perform additional exercises such as the barbell deadlift, barbell curls, barbell shoulder press, and barbell walking lunges.

The nice thing about the barbell with plate weight as well is that once the barbell is purchased, you can just keep buying more plate weight as you get stronger to advance your workout program.

This makes things more cost-effective long term.

An Aerobics Step

Finally, another smart thing to pick up is an aerobics step. This can be used for two purposes. First, you can actually perform at-home aerobics videos while using it to get your cardio workout in, or you can use it as a bench to perform exercises such as decline or incline push-ups or tricep dips off of.

If you are not purchasing a standard weight bench, the step can be substituted for it in some cases. Just be sure that you purchase a few additional risers in order to get it to the height level that's appropriate for your needs.

So there you have some of the main pieces to consider as you form your own home gym. Remember that you definitely do not need all of these and what you do decide to pick up will likely vary depending on your own space, your skill level, as well as your budget.

Start off with what you can afford and then build up from there.

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Incline Trainer Treadmills 101 – Are They Right For You? 3 Things You Should Know!

Looking for incline trainer treadmills? These high incline treadmills are a new twist on your traditional treadmill. They add the benefit of super-high inclines (plus a few more options that we'll cover in a minute).

Where a regular treadmill will go as high as a 15% incline, these machines give you up to 40% (depending on the model).

What's the advantage of being able to walk at a high incline? It INCINERATES calories. In fact some trainers will help you burn 5 times the calories (vs regular treadmill walking).

So you see results very fast – without having to spend hours on your treadmill.

Are incline trainer treadmills right for you? Here are 3 things you should know:

# 1 Different Types of Trainers

There are 2 general types of machines in this category. The first is the Bowflex Treadclimber. This uses 2 dual treadles instead of one large treadmill belt. The treadles rise to meet your feet, giving you a much lower impact workout than running on a standard treadmill.

The main downside of the Treadclimber is that you can not run on it. The belts are too short and due to the moving treadles, it can be dangerous to run.

The other type of machine is the Nordic track incline trainer (There are a couple of other brands out there as well like Freemotion and Proform – but these tend to be older models that have not been updated in a few years.)

The Nordictrack trainer has one main belt – like a treadmill. But it adds a high incline ramp to it – up to 40%. Some models even come with decline to really add some crosstraining challenge.

The advantage to this model is that – with extra long belts – you can also run on these machines. So you can use them as a regular treadmill for running or as high incline treadmill for walking.

# 2 Take Your Time

While the concept of walking on a steep ramp to burn more calories looks great, the reality is that if you're not in great shape, it may take some time to adjust.

Take your time – walking at a 40% incline (or even 25% incline) is work at first, especially if you're not used to it.

You do not have to walk at a high incline setting consistently in order to get results.

You can get a high calorie burning workout just by building in several high intensity intervals of about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Then rest in between for 2 – 5 minutes. Then repeat.

Building in intervals to your workout will ramp up your calorie burning and your metabolism – so you'll continue to burn calories post workout as well.

# 3 Enjoy The “Extras”

Some incline trainer treadmills also come with some fantastic “extras”. These are features that are designed to make your workouts more enjoyable and productive.

For example, several Nordictrack models come with built-in web browsers. So you can surf the net, read your emails or watch YouTube videos as you walk or run.

Other extras to look for include wireless heart rate monitors (so you do not have to continuously grasp the hand sensors), built-in workouts and iPod docks.

The extras will not burn you any more calories – but they will give you more enjoyable workouts for years to come. That way, you can maintain your weight loss results permanently!

So those are 3 things you should know when shopping for incline trainer treadmills. There are a lot of great, fun options out there. And when your clothing is loose within a week of using one, you'll know you made the right choice!

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Nordictrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill Review – Pros and Cons of the 2950 Treadmill With TV

The 2950 treadmill is the premium model in Nordictracks Commercial series. These are treadmills that are built to be tougher with more luxuries than their starter models.

You get everything but the kitchen sink on this treadmill including a large HD TV above the console.

This makes it popular with people looking for a treadmill with TV – which are not so easy to find anymore – unless you want to spend $ 4000 on a health club treadmill.

So is it a good buy for you?

Here's a review of the main pros and cons of the Commercial 2950 treadmill to help you decide:

Pro # 1 Large HD TV

You get a full sized 15 inch LCD TV attached above the console. It comes cable ready and you can easily change the channel and volume from your treadmill console.

Plus it sits at eye level to reduce the strain on your neck from looking down.

Pro # 2 Full Color Web Browser

The console also gives you a full color, touch-screen web browser. So you can go online and surf the net as you walk or run.

At a full 10 inches across, this is the largest web browser that Nordictrack currently makes. And because it's separate from the TV – you can both watch TV and read your emails at the same time. This is perfect for those of us with short attention spans!

Pro # 3 iFit LIVE

iFit connects your treadmill to the internet. From there you can download new workouts from Jillian Michaels where she coaches you through your workout using the console speakers.

You can also map out new trails to run using Googlemaps and watch the actual landmarks pass you by in the console screen. So go running through the streets of Paris or hike up Diamond Head in Hawaii and feel like you're actually there!

Pro # 4 Incline and Decline

In addition to the 15% incline on this treadmill, you also get 3% decline to add some extra crosstraining to your workouts.

Plus, the incline / decline integrates with iFit LIVE to match the actual terrain you're running for a more “virtual reality” experience.

Pro # 5 Adjustable Console

This is something you do not usually find on a treadmill – even a health club model. The console actually adjusts up and down – so you can make sure the TV and console is at the perfect level for your height.

So those are some pros – what about the cons?

Well, since this is a premium treadmill, there are not a lot of cons. The 2950 sets around the $ 2300 mark – so it's not for the budget buyer.

Also, be aware that you will need to spring for the iFit LIVE online membership which is about $ 99 a year. You do not need iFit LIVE to use this treadmill (or the web browser or TV). But if you want all the online tracking and new workouts, etc, you will need a subscription eventually.

Finally, you should also be aware that this is a very large, very heavy treadmill. So make sure you place it in the room it will be staying in as soon as you get it delivered (and have the advantage of the delivery men helping you).

While it does fold up, you really do not want to be moving this treadmill around a lot – if you value your back.

So those are the main pros and cons of the Nordictrack Commercial 2950 treadmill. If you're looking for one of the best tv treadmills on the market – with super-tough construction and lots of entertainment options – it's definitely worth considering.

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