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Do You LOVE Food, But Serious About Losing Weight?

Instead of cutting calories, rev your metabolism! It's your best solution for the long haul!



#1. Never skip meals! In fact, if anything, add more (in-between sensible snacks)

#2. Eat smart. We all know by now what foods are good for us and what are bad for us, right? And we know the bad stuff tastes good sometimes...so indulge in moderation! Make the majority of your food intake fresh, natural and organic and you won't go wrong.

#3. Your body needs protein AND carbs! Don't let anyone tell you different!! Like everything else, you can have too much or too little of both, but don't ever cut it out completely!

#4. Pick up heavier weights and beast up your workouts! Your body adjusts to your demands...make it work. Did you know your body can burn calories long a AFTER an intense workout? The trick is your intensity. How intense? Pushing yourself until you can't hold a conversation is a good indicator...now hold that level for 30-60 seconds before resting...(interval training at its best)

#5 Never skip your favorite dessert...It's bad for your health! If you avoid that craving, you're more likely to eat more later until your body satisfies it. Simply indulge sensibly...cut your serving of ice cream in half, choose one cookie instead of two, take small bites, chew slowly and enjoy every second of it.

Our Top 3 Tips To Help You Sculpt Your Stubborn Back Muscles

#1. VISUALIZE: It's hard to train what you can't see. Your mind plays a huge role in how your body moves and how it's used to moving (muscle memory). Visualizing your back muscles working throughout the exercise (flexing and contracting), you will automatically put more focus on those core back muscles and create your movements more effectively. 

#2. VARIETY: Exercises that incorporate multiple angles, ranges, resistance, speed and intensity levels help develop a more balanced physique overall. Because your back muscles play a role in just about EVERY movement you make, it is crucial to add as much variety in your back exercises to help avoid muscle imbalances and further develop proper form, posture, balance and strength throughout your entire body. 

#3. FORM: Always pay attention to how you FEEL during each exercise. It may seem simple, but it is absolutely crucial in reducing and eliminating back pain and injuries. If you're over- straining, you're lifting too much weight. If you can't control the movement, you need to slow down. Inflexible, weak or muscle imbalances may limit your range in movement and you simply may not be able to deadlift all the way to the floor like your buddy can. Focus on YOU and what YOUR body is telling you. It's smarter than you think.


 

Foods with Sun-Fighting Power

Did you know some foods have the power to guard your skin from sun damage at a cellular level? I’m not saying replace your sunscreen, but these foods can give your body an extra boost to help protect your skin from burns and wrinkles caused by harmful UV rays.

1. RED: Tomatoes & Watermelon
Tomatoes (and tomato-based products) and Watermelon are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been proven to provide long-term protection against UV-radiation-induced effects.

2. ORANGE: Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
Here’s a pair that may not only help prevent sun damage, but could even reverse it! The antioxidant beta-carotene found in carrots and sweet potatoes has shown to protect and repair cells from photoaging.

3. GREEN: Dark, Leafy Greens
As if we need yet another reason why these should be added to our diet right? The darker and richer in color the leaves, the more valuable the antioxidants are that help reverse free-radical damage in the body and skin.

4. GREEN: TEA
Green tea contains a high concentration of anti-inflammatory/anti-aging/antioxidant boosting catechins. It also contains polyphenols, that recent studies have shown may be effective in preventing cancer because they limit the blood supply to different areas where cancer can develop.

5. GREEN: ASPARAGUS
This powerful food is an excellent source of Vitamin E and one of the most effective foods in helping fight off free radicals caused by harmful rays.

6. RED, ORANGE & GREEN: Strawberries, Kiwi & Oranges
Vitamin C can help block the development of cancer cells by fighting off free radicals through the body caused by UV rays. P.S. KIWI IS KING! Ounce for ounce, it contains more Vitamin C that ANY other fruit.

See a pattern here? Natural, colorful, fresh, fruits and vegetables win again. Nothing new, we’ve been hearing it since (at least) 1942....Thumper: “Eating greens is a special treat. It makes long ears and great big feet.” - Bambi

MUSCLE UP: BACK EXERCISES

The back muscles are the most important group of muscles affecting your posture and mobility of your entire body! Since we don't look at our backs in the mirror, we often neglect it during our workout sessions. Tip: every time you exercise your abs, include back exercises for the same amount of time.


Fitness tips, motivation, exercise techniques, nutrition advice and
valuable fitness information to help you on your fit journey:


10 Motivational Tips To Keep You Healthy

1. Feel Good About Yourself Today: Be sure the people around you make you feel good about you -- no matter what your size or health condition. In addition, if close friends encourage you to smoke, overeat, or drink too much, find some new friends who have good health habits and also want a healthier you.

2. Rethink Your Role Model:
Barbie's still the first role model many young girls are drawn to. But let's be honest. For most of us to look like Barbie, we'd have to be nearly 6 feet tall, shrink our waist size by 8 inches, move the excess inches up to our chests, and then pose in the "suck in the gut/high heel" position all the time. Come on! There's a better way to live our lives than pretending.
Select positive role models. Choose role models that help you feel good about who you are, rather than ones who make you feel bad. Find a female role model who is strong, healthy -- and real!

3. Know What Makes You Overeat:
The key to staying motivated is to know where your problem areas are and have a plan for dealing with them. Do you use food to cope with disappointment, rejection, boredom, or even personal success? Brainstorm some healthier ways to cope with mood swings that do not involve food.

4. Make Simple Daily Changes:
Who said health-related lifestyle changes had to be all or nothing? Start small and make a few simple weight loss and exercise changes each day. These small changes can add up over time to give you a big health boost. Here are some suggestions:

Add 5 more grams of fiber to your daily meal plan.
Cut out refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, and sweets
Avoid foods with trans-fats
Add two more servings of veggies at lunch and dinner
Drink three more glasses of water each day
Add 10 minutes of walking to your daily exercise regimen
Take a break every hour at work and walk 500 steps in place (2,000 steps burns 100 calories)
Wake up 15 minutes earlier and walk before work

5. Find a Cheering Section:
We all need a cheering section -- having to account to someone else gives you a reason to hang in there when you can't muster determination from within. It doesn't matter where the support comes from -- a spouse, friend, co-worker, or online "buddy," or others.
Think of five people who might be in your cheering section. Talk to these people about giving you support and holding you accountable as you work to reach your weight loss or health goals. Call upon your cheering section when you're having trouble sticking with good health habits. When you do reach small weight loss or exercise goals, invite your support group to celebrate with you.

6. Forgive Yourself:
If you slip up on vacation and overeat, drink too much, or fail to exercise -- forgive yourself. Don't beat yourself up! Instead, say, "I really enjoyed my vacation," and let it go at that.
Allowing yourself time to enjoy a few indulgences occasionally is OK. If you start to feel guilty for having dessert on a special night out, forgive yourself and start back on your more disciplined program the next day.

7. Never Go Hungry:

Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author of Diet Simple, says the biggest cause of overeating is undereating. "People go too long without eating, and then pig out when they are ravenously hungry."
Rigid diets don't work for anyone. Include planned snacks in your daily diet to prevent binges. Make sure you allow for treats once a week without feeling guilty. Have a brownie every Friday, and enjoy every bite.

8. Remember That Change Takes Time:
According to Kathy Kater, a LSW and psychotherapist in St. Paul, Minn., the research on body diversity is conclusive. "Even if we all ate the same optimal, wholesome diet and exercised to the same high degree of physical fitness, we would still be very diverse in our shapes. Some quite thin and some quite big, but most in the middle."
Make the commitment to change some lifestyle habits and allow yourself plenty of time to see your goal. In addition, accept the fact that your body is meant to be a certain size -- even if that size isn't skinny -- and feel good about it.

9. Move Around More Today; Sit Less:
Make healthy choices by being more physically active. Park at the end of the lot when grocery shopping. Change your TV channel manually. Take the stairs at work. Go on a long walk with your kids or grandkids. Raining outside? Walk or run in place while watching TV. No excuses!

10. Celebrate Each Day's Journey:
In the midst of your exercise and weight loss goals, don't forget to enjoy each day's journey. Most women agree that their lives and dreams for the future are so intertwined with reaching a specific goal or destination that any derived pleasure is disregarded. Problems arise when the "goal" becomes the sole purpose of living and overshadows our daily lives.
While having healthy weight loss/exercise goals are important, make sure to take time to celebrate each day's journey. Live for the moment and savor some of life's simple pleasures -- every day.
- Debra Fulghum Bruce



SUPER SCULPT YOUR BOOTY!

Say YES to high-intensity, explosive movements! These powerful exercises target the deep muscles and tissues in your body. Think jump squats, power or long jumps, basketball shots, switch lunges and tuck jumps.


Say YES to hills! Climb the stairs, run the bleachers, sprint the inclines. Think full range of motion. Skip steps if you can.

Say YES to going deep! “There is a common misconception that squatting deep, through a full range, is dangerous. However, every legitimate study produced on the safety of the squat says quite the contrary: Squatting deep may actually provide greater knee stability.” - Chris Dellasega, MS
Every exercise produces stress on the body and our body adapts to that stress. We should work to train in a FULL range of motion with every exercise.

Say YES to sprinting!
“Unless you’re training for a marathon, skip long, slow, distance running -- sprinting builds more muscle. Add a few 10- to 60-second sprints to your run, slowing down just long enough to catch your breath between them.”
--Stephen Holt, 2003 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year


REDUCE BACK INJURIES

Anytime you’re lifting weights overhead, squeeze your butt muscles on the lift. You’ll force your body into a position that stabilizes your spine thus reducing your risk of injury.


JUMP HIGHER

Here's a few simple exercises to improve your vertical. Perform each of these exercises 3x a week:

1. Depth Jumps: Stand on the edge of a step or bench that’s roughly 8-10 inches high. Jump off backward with both feet. When your toes hit the ground, immediately jump back on. Focus on exploding off the ground as quickly as possible and don't worry about the height of your jump. This will increase your body's reaction time and help activate the lower body muscles quicker allowing for more contraction and power on the jump resulting in a bigger leap. Do 3 sets of 10 jumps.

2. Jump Rope: simple, yet very effective! Try this 5 min exercise to get your heart pumping and greatly improve your jumping skills:
- 1 minute jumping at a comfortable pace.
- 1 minute of double jumping (two rotations of the rope) before landing focusing on your height.
- 30 seconds jump on right foot only
- 30 seconds jump left foot only
- 1 minute alternate right/left foot single leg jumps
- 1 minute jumps focusing on speed.

3. Single leg vertical jumps on a bench or step: Performing this exercise will greatly increase single leg strength, stability, power and stamina. Do 3 sets of 10 jumps on each leg.

4. Last but not least, train those calves! Try calf raises off a step to increase the muscle’s range of motion and to develop max power when jumping off the ground. The greater the range of motion, the better. Do 3 sets of 15 full range raises.


SMART CHEST TRAINING

Maximize your chest workouts by varying your exercises, angles (incline/decline push-ups for example), volume (number of reps), tempo (speed of movement) and load (weight).

Here’s a few simple, yet very effective chest exercises when done with proper form:

1. PUSH-UPS: There are countless variations to the push-up including modified knee push-ups, narrow and wide grip, t-push-ups, staggered and more advanced variations such as spidermans, triangles and corkscrews, but no matter what variation you are doing, these basic techniques ALWAYS apply to help maintain proper form and get the most out of the workout:
1. Keep your head and neck in line with your spine
2. Keep the core tight by pushing the navel in to the spine
3. On lowering to the floor, imagine PULLING the body down
4. At the bottom of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
5. At the top, imagine spreading the shoulder blades apart as far as you can.
6. Deep full breathing ALWAYS!

2. DUMBBELL FLY
1. Laying on your back with arms up and palms facing each other.
1. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and slowly spread arms apart as you lowering the weights until they are even with your chest.
2. Squeeze your pecs as you lift the weight back to the top.

3. DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
1. Laying on your back with palms facing the feet at shoulder level.
2. Lower the weights down to chest height (imagine lifting the chest as you lower the weights to meet them).
3. On the Press, lift the weights back up to starting position as you press the chest into the floor (or bench).

Quick Chest Workout:
ROUND 1:
1. 30 Push-ups (pick an easy variation for you on this round)
2. 20 Flys (challenging weight)
3. 20 Push-Ups (more advanced push-up variation)
4. 20 Dumbbell Presses (challenging weight)
5. 10 Push-Ups (most challenging push-up weight you can do correctly for 10 reps)

REST 90 SECONDS
ROUND 2: Repeat the above exercises, but increase weight and variation on each.
REST 90 SECONDS
ROUND 3: Repeat the above exercises last time, but this time do as many as you can to fatigue on last set of push-ups.


SMART TRICEP TRAINING

According to The American Council on Exercise, the TRIANGLE PUSH-UP rates #1 as the MOST effective exercise that targets ALL 3 PARTS of the tricep muscle. Dips were a close runner-up equally activating all 3 parts. Other exercises performed that hit all parts but not equally were the kickbacks and tricep extensions. Skull crushers were less effective placing most of its emphasis on the long head.

To keep the work focused on the triceps, keep your elbows in place. When you move the elbows forward, back or out, you shift the emphasis to your shoulders. Remember, it helps to visualize the muscle doing the work. Close your eyes if needed and focus on how your body is moving.

Remember that VARIETY is KEY when it comes to any training program. Shock your muscles by changing up your exercises each time. And if you don’t have any weights at home, you’re in LUCK because the best two tricep exercises don’t require any equipment!


Use your MIND to Improve Your Workouts

Here’s a few simple tips to get your mind and body in the game every time:

#1. Count your reps backwards. You’ll focus on what’s left rather than what you’ve done and you’re less likely to quit before you’re done.

#2. Doing Pull-ups: Focus on the elbow coming down rather than your body moving up.

#3. Visualize the muscles at work during each exercise. Imagine what that muscle looks like and how it’s moving.

#4. When doing cardio exercises and you start to fatigue, focus on each breath. Count each one on the breath in and breath out (up to 10), then go backwards back to 1. Repeat as long as you need until you hit that second wind.


Benefits of Unilateral Training

1. IMPROVE CORE STRENGTH. Whenever you perform single sided exercises (offset or unilateral as they’re often called), your core automatically activates to help you stabilize your body. Try this test: Lie down and bench press dumbbells with both arms. Next, try pressing the same weight using one arm at a time. Tell me which one worked your core more. Trust me, it will be obvious.

2. IMPROVE COORDINATION AND BALANCE: Unilateral exercises recruit more core muscles and help strengthen stabilizing joint muscles. The connective tissue of each joint is also trained leading to an overall increase in coordination, balance and strength.

3. IMPROVES EFFICIENCY: During single sided exercises, you challenge the nervous system to coordinate your movements while maintaining your balance. Essentially, your body (and brain) becomes smarter as you train it in a variety of ways.

4. PREVENT INJURY: Since most overuse injuries are due to muscle weakness, you will automatically decrease your chances of developing injuries just by strengthening your core and stabilizing muscles and surrounding tissue.

Try This Series with All the Leg movements on the RIGHT SIDE first and the Arm movements on the LEFT. Then repeat series with Leg movements on LEFT and Arm movements on the RIGHT:

1. 10 Single Leg Deadlift (with or without weight)
2. 15 Single Leg Squats (with or without weight)
3. 20 Single Arm Dumbbell Press
4. 20 Single Arm Lateral Raise
5. 15 Single Leg Glute Kickbacks
6. 10 Single Leg Skater Lunge
7. 20 Single Arm Tricep Extension
8. 20 Single Arm Bicep Curl