The Benefits of Isometric Exercise


Isometric exercises like the kind enabled by Activ5 provide a number of benefits for everyone, from elite athletes to fitness newbies alike. Key benefits of isometrics include:

Measuring and Tracking Strength

Activ5 measures the strength of individual muscles with a precision that goes far beyond the “one-rep max” or incremental progress of weight training or other analog approaches. By engaging in quick isometric exercises focused on specific areas of the body, you can understand exactly how you are or are not progressing in building strength, isolate the areas that need work, and see your progress grow over time with granular, highly accurate data.

Building Muscle Symmetry

By measuring the strength of individual muscles and how they change over time, Activ5 an help isolate asymmetrical muscles and offer workouts to improve symmetry. Competitive athletes, for example, often develop strength asymmetrically by repeatedly engaging in activities that favor one set of muscles on one side of the body over the other. Consider a right-handed tennis player, for example, or a left-handed baseball pitcher, putting constant strain on a set of muscles on arm but not the other. Maintaining muscle symmetry is an important element of a well-balanced fitness regimen and can help reduce the risk of injury.

Injury Prevention

Activ5 is useful in injury prevention in a few different ways. Activating, or “turning on” certain muscles through isometric exercise is a highly effective warm-up or supplemental technique when engaging in rigorous exercise or strength-training and helps reduce the risk of injury. Perhaps more significantly, the trove of data the Activ5 app offers gives you a detailed and valuable view of the progress and effectiveness of your training efforts, helping you avoid overtaxing specific muscles and focus on building strength in key areas that will help improve overall fitness and avoid unnecessary injuries.

Recovering Muscle Mass and Building Endurance

Not only do high-performance athletes, from professional football players to aspiring Olympians, use Activ5 to supplement their workout, the device is also used by physical therapists all over the world to help their patients recover strength and agility in specific muscles groups. Isometric exercises can help reduce pain in injured muscles while building muscles mass and improving endurance, and the Activ5 is an ideal tool to assess, measure and track progress while recovering from injury.

Understanding the Science of Isometrics


Activ5 utilizes isometrics to act as a highly effective and versatile addition to any strength-training or exercise regimen. To really understand how Activ5 works, it’s helpful to review the foundational science behind muscle activity.

Three Types of Muscle Contractions

The human body is capable of three essential types of muscle contractions – concentric, eccentric and isometric. Concentric contractions occur when a muscle is activated and required to lift a load that is less than the tetanic tension it can generate. As a result, the muscle begins to shorten, and 100$ of muscle fibers are activated. Lifting a dumbbell when doing a bicep curl is a classic example of a concentric contraction.

Eccentric contractions, on the other hand, occur as a muscle is lengthening, and only around 40% of muscle fibers are activated. Lowering a dumbbell during a curl is an example of an eccentric contraction. Because eccentric contractions break down muscle cells, actions that lengthen muscles help enable hypertrophy, the increase in muscle size that many weightlifters crave.

Isometric contractions occur when a muscle is activated, but instead of shortening as in concentric contractions or lengthening as in eccentric contractions, the muscle is held at a constant length. A plank is an example of an isometric exercise, as are many yoga poses.

Overcoming and Yielding Isometrics

Isometric exercises work in two different ways. The first, called “overcoming isometrics”, occurs when you attempt to lift a unit of weight that is beyond your capacity – essentially attempting to move an immovable object with maximum effort. Overcoming isometrics allow you to recruit as many motor units and muscle fibers as possible, “turning on” the muscle for a temporary boost in strength. Overcoming isometrics are often used as part of what strength trainers call “contrast training” in order to improve muscle power.

The second kind of isometric exercise is called “yielding isometrics”, which involves maintaining a static hold in a certain position for a given period of time. Yielding isometrics can be used to help isolate specific muscles to improve muscle mass, either to strengthen a healthy muscle and ensure symmetry or as a physical therapy technique to build up recovering muscles after an injury.

Activ5 uses yielding isometrics to produce measurable results that can help transform your fitness regimen. Check out the following exercises for great examples of yielding isometrics at work:

Plank Crush

Begin on your elbows and knees. Place Activ5 underneath both palms. Straighten your legs, keeping them hip-width apart. Keep your back straight. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Press Activ5 as you squeeze your core muscles.

Bicep Curl (L/R)

Hold Activ5 with your left palm. Lean forward at the waist and place your left elbow on the inside of your left knee. Place your right palm on top of Activ5 and squeeze. Keep both elbows bent at 90 degrees. Repeat on the other side.

French Triceps Press (L/R)

Bend and lift your left elbow to eye level. Make a fist with your left hand. Place Activ5 on the bottom of your left fist with your right palm. Press Activ5 with your left fist and right palm as you squeeze your shoulder muscles.

How Can Parents Keep Kids Engaged and Beat the Summertime Blues?


Parents everywhere await the end of the school year with a mixture of anticipation and dread. On the one hand, your kids are finally free from the stresses and pressures of homework, finals and term papers, while you get a bit of a break from managing and monitoring all the academic, extracurricular and athletic engagements that come along with modern parenting. On the other hand, the structure, supervision and intellectual guidance school offers is suddenly gone, and your kids are left to their own devices (literally—their eyes will likely be glued to their devices if you don’t step in.) On top of that, many of the various camps, sports activities and family vacations that traditionally offer some form of relief from the summer doldrums are simply not feasible or safe in midst of the ongoing global pandemic, making things even more challenging for kids and parents alike. What’s a conscientious but busy parent to do?

Make Reading Fun

Many kids probably won’t be itching to get their hands on a book as soon as the school year ends, and that’s understandable. They’ve (presumably) been putting in hours upon hours of academic work each day, and it’s fair to want a break. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on intellectual pursuits completely. Studies have shown that students who read at least 20 minutes a day develop wider vocabularies, perform better on standardized tests, show an increased general knowledge and gain a greater understanding of other cultures. While those facts alone may not make your child more eager to read during summer vacation, you can take a few simple steps to encourage reading. Set up a family reading challenge, for example, with a fun reward at the end of the summer for whomever reads the most. Or set aside a regular time each evening where everyone in the household takes a “reading break” and then discusses what they’ve been reading with each other. You can also create a “page-to-screen” project where everyone reads a book or series and then watches the movie or TV version. Most importantly, help your child find reading material that matches their individual interests, so it doesn’t feel like just another assignment. Comic books, gaming magazines, science fiction novels—it’s all reading, and it’s all good!

Tie Screen Time to Productive Activity 

Negotiating “screen time” is the bane of many a parent’s existence, especially during summer vacation. Finding the middle ground between a complete ban on all technology and 12-hour-a-day gaming sessions can be tricky, but one solution is to consider tying screen time to a set of daily activities. Let your kids “earn” screen time, up to a reasonable limit, by completing household chores, say, or spending a certain amount of time outside gardening, or helping prepare meals. Whatever your activity of choice, you can create a daily routine that strikes the right balance between the virtual and real worlds without making your child feel like they’re being punished. 

Stay Fit Even When PE Class is Out of Session

The biggest challenge for many parents over summer vacation is making sure their kids stay fit and active without the benefit of PE class or school sporting events. That challenge is even more daunting during a quarantine, of course, and many families don’t have access to big yards, home gym equipment or a driveway basketball hoop. That’s where Activ5 can help. Fitness experts agree that if a child is old enough to participate in team sports, they’re generally old enough to engage in some form of strength training. The convenient isometric exercises offered by Activ5 are an ideal way to work in some physical activity and build strength in convenient five-minute stretches. By blending fitness with screen time, they won’t even realize that what they’re doing is beneficial for their bodies!

Here a few exercises you might want to try with your kids: 

Boat Pose: Begin seated on the ground with your knees bent, hip-width apart. Place your Activ5 between both palms, and extend your arms out in front of you. Slightly lean back, keeping your back straight, chest open, and core tight. Press the Activ5 as you squeeze your core.

Chest Press: With your elbows out, hold Activ5 between both hands in the prayer position. Press both palms into Activ5 and squeeze your chest muscles.

Wall Squat: With your back against the wall, place the Activ5 under your left heel. Slide down the wall into a squat. Reach your arms in front so they are parallel to the floor. Press your left heel into the Activ5 while squeezing your left quad.

Take Your Training Off the Bike: Why Isometrics Might Be The Secret Ingredient to Your Cycling Success


If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you frequent the cycle studio or spend a lot of your free time on a bike. Or, maybe this article caught your eye because you’re interested in picking up mountain biking or some other form of cycling as a hobby. In any case, we think it’s safe to assume you’re here because you want to step up your cycling game and we’re here to help you do just that. With National Bike to Work Day right around the corner (May 15th, to be exact), it got us thinking about all the ways isometrics can be beneficial to cyclists and we think they might just be the secret ingredient to your cycling success!

Iso-What-Trics?!
Before we dive in, let’s cover Isometrics 101, just in case you’re unfamiliar with the term. Isometric exercise involves contracting a muscle or muscle group and holding that contraction for an extended period of time. A plank or wall sit, for example, are extremely popular forms of isometric exercises. Isometrics are static movements and during them your muscles don’t lengthen and the surrounding joints around your muscles don’t move. They are an extremely powerful and effective form of exercise and they can be beneficial to almost anyone.

Isometrics + Cycling = A Match Made in Training Heaven
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we can get to the good stuff, and by that we mean all the reasons isometrics are useful to incorporate into a cyclist’s training regimen. Although isometric exercise is done completely off the bike, the results of this training method translate perfectly to your on-bike success. During isometrics, you can isolate and focus on building strength in the specific muscle groups used to propel your bike forward, like your quads, glutes and hamstrings. Increasing the endurance of these muscles can be especially beneficial when biking up a hill or through rough terrain. Without proper training of these leg muscles, it could result in muscle fatigue during your ride, ultimately making your time on the bike more of a struggle than it needs to be. Wall sits and glute bridges are perfect examples of isometric exercises that work these specific muscles. These types of exercises also work your stabilizer muscles, which are the muscles used to simply remain upright on a bike.

Another benefit of isometric exercise is that it can be used to treat and minimize injuries commonly related to cycling sports. Neck and back pain is extremely common simply due to the angle that your body rides at on a bike. In fact, this type of pain is reported by up to 60% of riders. Incorporating isometrics that strengthen the muscles associated with this pain into your training program can be crucial to avoiding these types of injuries altogether or causing further complications to existing injuries. Cervical isometrics focused on strengthening the neck and traps are great examples to start with.

Lastly, isometrics can also be used as a great warm up before a ride. A proper warm up is essential for minimizing risk of injury and increasing endurance in cyclists, yet it is often overlooked. Why? Maybe you’re pressed for time or just too eager to get on the bike that you decide to skip this step, but incorporating even a quick 5-minute isometric warm-up can contribute to a more successful ride on the bike. Isometrics are a great option because they are super intense, but for a short period of time, so they are an efficient way to warm-up your muscles so you can get to doing what you love most, biking. Plus, studies have also shown that warming up with isometrics results in muscles being able to endure more force until failure, which is crucial when it comes to an endurance based sport like cycling. 

How Activ5 Can Help
An overwhelming amount of evidence has proven that isometrics can be beneficial to cyclists and other athletes alike, and the Activ5 by Activbody is a device designed to facilitate this type of exercise in a way that is convenient, easy and fun. Paired with a smartphone app, the small and portable Activ5 device coaches you through quick isometric workouts that can be done virtually anywhere. That means whether you are on the trail, at the cycle studio or anywhere in between, the Activ5 will be there to help take your biking game to the next level.

Lupus Awareness Month: Top Exercises for People Living With Lupus


May is Lupus Awareness Month and as our tribute to this, we wanted to shed some light on ways people living with this auto-immune disease can get exercise and remain physically fit. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, more than 5 million people have a form of lupus, 90% of which are women. There are many symptoms that people may experience with lupus, such as pain, fatigue, hair loss, cognitive issues and physical impairments, so you can imagine that finding a means to stay physically fit can be a challenge for those struggling with this disease. However, the benefits of exercise for those struggling with lupus extend far beyond physical fitness, so it’s important to incorporate it into your daily routine when you have been diagnosed with this disease. 

Exercise can help extend life expectancy and reduce the fatigue that comes along with lupus. On top of that, it is also beneficial to mental health, as it can help decrease depression and anxiety, which is common in those suffering from a chronic illness. Exercise can also keep healthy bones strong, improve sleep and reduce the risk of developing other diseases and conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and more. There are many forms of exercise that can be beneficial for those with lupus, but some science-backed fitness techniques stand out among the rest.

Stretching Exercises
If you struggle with lupus, even the thought of exercising can seem daunting, but stretching exercises can be a great way to ease into a new fitness regimen. Stretching improves your joint range of motion and increases circulation, which can be helpful for those with an autoimmune disease that attacks your body like lupus. It’s a gentle way to prepare the body for movement, whether it be a workout or just your daily activities.

Aerobic Exercise
Gentle aerobic exercise can be extremely beneficial for improving quality of life for those struggling with lupus. About 50% of people with lupus experience adverse effects on the lungs and respiratory system, like inflammation and difficulty breathing, but many studies have shown that low-impact aerobic exercise, like the elliptical, aquatics and dance, can improve cardiovascular health, without amplifying arterial stiffness, inflammation or oxidatives stress in those with the disease.

Isometrics
Isometric exercise involves contracting a muscle or muscle group and holding that contraction without any additional movement in the surrounding joints and tendons. Holding a yoga pose or a seated leg extension are perfect examples of this. Isometric exercise can be a great option for those with lupus because it is gentle and easy on the joints, so it won’t aggravate or increase existing pain that people might have as a result of this autoimmune disease. In fact, studies have even shown isometrics to improve functional ability and decrease pain in those suffering from joint pain. Isometrics are also one of the safest ways for people with lupus to increase strength because they don’t put stress on bones or joints that might be weak or fragile. As an added benefit, isometrics are also a super convenient way to work out, as they can be completed almost anywhere and require little to no equipment.

If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus and are interested in incorporating isometrics into your fitness journey, the Activ5 can be a great tool to utilize. Paired with its companion training app, the Activ5 coaches you through short isometric exercises, customized to your specific training level. It also keeps track of data like heart rate, strength and progress over time, so you can be confident that your isometric training is working for you. 

While the exercises listed above may be beneficial for those struggling with lupus, we always recommend consulting a medical professional first to find an exercise program that is appropriate for you.

Isometric Exercises for Runners: Build Foundational Running Strength


If you thought that only dynamic exercises are good for strength and endurance, we must tell you that you are mistaken. If you are a runner looking to improve your strength, you need to look to isometric exercises to help you improve your running while coincidingly improving your strength.

Isometric exercises are a type of exercise that only focuses on a specific group of muscles, which means that the muscles do not change during the workout. 

But that does not mean that dynamic exercises are not good for building and maintaining strength. Some high-intensity workouts can really pump up the endurance and help build up the overall strength.  

What are the benefits of isometric exercises? 

To really understand what the isometric exercises are and how beneficial they can be to your running performance, let’s take one isometric exercise as an example – the plank. 

The plank is an exercise that supports your entire body on just your forearms and toes, and it includes virtually all significant muscles a runner needs – abs, thighs, glutes, and back. If you have ever done a plank, you must know how difficult it is to hold yourself for even 30 seconds. As you hold the pose, you are building muscular endurance, which is really effective, especially for your core muscles

One other benefit of isometrics is improved posture. Because you have to hold a certain position for each exercise, especially if you try to hold as better posture as you can, that will make your entire body hold a healthy posture during your daily life, as well as during your runs. And good posture means that you have lower chances of injury, as well as improved running performance. 

What exercises to do?

Here are some isometric exercises that will increase your running endurance by strengthening your major muscles. 

If you form a habit out of doing these exercises regularly, then you will definitely be able to see the progress quite quickly. 

You do not need to hold any of the exercises for too long, just three to four rounds of 30 seconds will be more than enough to make your progress apparent. 

Static lunge

This exercise targets quads, glutes, and calves. 

Stand with feet about hip-width apart, and then step forward with your right leg making sure that your calf is at a 90-degree angle with the floor. Keep the proper posture by keeping your back straight, chest up, and your hands on your hips. Sink a bit deeper into your lunges and hold for 30 seconds. 

Then, get back to the standing position and switch sides. Repeat for three to four times on each leg. You should feel the burn even after the first round. 

Isometric Calf Raises

Having strong calves is an essential thing in running. Although calf raises probably were not high on your list of exercises, they should be. Calf raises are the best way to include all calf muscles in your workout. 

Stand on the edge of a static box. If you need balance help, try holding to the wall or a sturdy object nearby. Raise yourself to the top of your toes and hold the position for a full minute and then return to the standing position. 

Remember to give your best to hold the position for as long as you can, the burning in your legs is welcome, it means that the exercise is working. 

Isometric Wall Chair

Wall chair is probably one of the best lower body exercises because it builds strength and endurance in glutes, calves, and quads. 

Stand tall in front of the wall- approximately 2 feet away from it. Then, lower yourself to a sitting position with arms across your chest. Keep in mind that your thighs should be parallel to the ground. Hold the position for a minute and then slowly return to the standing position. 

 If you are some form of superhuman and you find this exercise too easy, try lifting your right and then your left leg while holding the position. 

Forearm Plank

We already talked about why plank is an effective exercise, but most of the people do not do it properly. When you are planking, try keeping your back straight and tightening your abs. That is when you will feel the burn. 

Many other isometric exercises can improve your running endurance, such as hamstrings exercises with Activ5. Remember that regular exercise is crucial to strengthening your muscles. 

Top 3 Techniques for Effective Off-Season Football Training


The NFL Draft is just a few days away and although NFL season doesn’t actually start until September, players across the nation are still hard at work preparing for the first kick-off of the year. Building an effective off-season training program is extremely important when it comes to injury prevention, building strength and ultimately having success on the field, and this goes for NFL players, all the way down to Pop Warner players. 

There is no doubt that every player’s off-season training program is different, but one thing all players can agree on is they want to build a training program that will have a positive and lasting impact on their performance. So if you’re ready to get serious about reaching your full potential on the field this season, try incorporating these tried-and-true techniques into your off-season training program. 

Metabolic Running
Metabolic conditioning can be applied to many different workouts, but what it really boils down to is developing structured patterns of work and pairing them with strategic rest periods that are designed to elicit a desired response from the body. For football players, this can be translated into a cardio-based training program focused on activating all of the muscles used in common movements on the field. Yes, many football players already incorporate running drills into their off-season training, but these are highly focused on conventional, straight-ahead running. This kind of training can be beneficial to players in some ways, but it completely disregards the muscle groups used in lateral or backwards movements, which are extremely common for players to do in football games. Not sure where to start? Check out this metabolic running program designed by strength and conditioning coach, Ben Peterson. It focuses on training all the muscles used in 360-degree movements.

Isometrics
Isometric exercise focuses on control, as opposed to traditional weight lifting that is more force-driven. Isometrics are a different kind of strength training, as they involve isolating muscle groups and contracting them for brief periods of time to increase strength and endurance. They also work to improve the stability and durability of muscles, which in turn can be instrumental in preventing injury or rehabilitation of an existing injury. Football is a contact sport that causes a lot of wear and tear on the body, so injury prevention is a key aspect that should be focused on in off-season football training. The benefits of isometrics are endless for football players, which is probably why teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Stanford University regularly incorporate them into their training programs.

Proper Nutrition
Now, we know having a healthy diet isn’t necessarily a “training technique”, but we would be remiss not to mention the impact nutrition has on your performance as an athlete. Having a poor diet will leave you with repercussions, no matter how hard you hit the gym in the off season, yet many players fail to take this into consideration when developing their training program. When developing an off-season nutrition plan, there are a few things we recommend taking into consideration. For one, muscles need an adequate amount of calories to grow and recover. Not just any calories, though. Athletes should focus on eating carbohydrate-rich foods, like whole grains, vegetables and rice, along with lean proteins and healthy fats. It’s worth noting, though, that the amount of calories you need to intake depends largely on the amount and type of exercise you are doing, as well as your total body weight. Here’s a chart that can be used to easily determine your caloric needs based on these factors. 

Another thing to take into consideration as a high-performance athlete is the amount of the three main macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) you are eating each day. Each of these macronutrients play a key role in your performance and health, so it’s important to get an appropriate amount each day. This study suggests 5-8 grams per kilogram of carbohydrates per day for athletes undertaking 2-3 hours of intense exercise, 5-6 times per week. It also suggests that competitive athletes require 1.5-2 grams per kilogram of protein and 30% of their total caloric intake of healthy fats per day for optimal results in muscle mass growth, fat burning and overall performance. 

While this article has barely skimmed the surface of what it takes to become a successful football player in the off-season, it is definitely a great starting point. On-field success truly is accomplished through effective and strategic off-season training and the three techniques discussed above are crucial for muscle gains, fast-twitch responses, athletic endurance and everything in between.

Reducing Stress During Anxious Times


There’s a reason that stress has been commonly referred to as the “silent killer” within the medical community. Study after study has shown that stress takes an enormous toll on the human body, increasing the risk of serious conditions including depression, chronic headaches, heart disease, insomnia, diabetes, fertility problems and high blood pressure just to name a few.

A vast majority of Americans experience stress levels high enough to affect their physical health on a daily basis. Given the dramatic challenges facing our world right now, it’s safe to say that our stress levels aren’t likely to decrease on their own any time soon. April has been designated National Stress Awareness Month, and we can probably all agree that it couldn’t come at a better time. In the spirit of the season, we’d like to offer a few stress-reduction techniques anyone can incorporate into their daily routine.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy has been shown to enhance mood, combat depression and even counter certain types of inflammation. The way it works, essentially, is that an LED panel emits light from the red and infrared parts of the spectrum, which are the wavelengths thought by scientists to be the most healing. Unlike ultraviolet rays that emit from the sun, the light emitted in Red Light Therapy is perfectly safe and will not cause skin damage. Red Light Therapy is not a new discovery by any means, but it has grown in popularity over the years and is now widely available through many doctor’s offices, specialty salons and even some dental offices.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a wide-ranging term that essentially means training yourself to maintain a constant, moment-to-moment awareness of your own thoughts, actions and surrounding environment. Common mindfulness techniques include meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. The “raisin exercise” exemplifies the mindfulness technique by breaking down the simple act of eating a raisin into a five minute exercise that emphasizes the importance of each sensory step along the way, from holding to smelling to tasting. Similarly, a body scan can be used to help focus awareness on every element of the body, slowing down the mind and reducing tension and stress.

Isometric Exercise

We all know that exercise is beneficial for your physical health, but did you know it can also have positive effects on your mental health? Not only can physical activity serve as a distraction from your daily stressors, it also causes your body to release endorphins which in turn create a sense of overall well-being. Even short, 5-minute exercises that require little to no equipment can be beneficial to your mental health. Isometrics, for example, offer a quick and convenient way to get a quick mood-boost in any time, any place.

Isometric exercise can be as simple as holding a calf lift, or pressing your palms together for a few seconds to engage your muscles, but if you’re looking for a little more guidance and direction, a device like the Activ5 might be for you. The Activ5 works in tandem with a free training app to coach users through short, isometric exercises that can be done virtually anywhere, so it can be a great for individuals who struggle to find the time in the day to exercise.

Relieving stress can have a lasting impact on your overall well-being. It can boost your mood, increase productivity, improve sleep and much more. We owe it to ourselves and each other to find ways to prolong our mental and physical health, in any way we can.

Help Increase Your Immunity with Easy Isometric Exercises


In the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, we are all concerned about taking steps to increase our chances of avoiding illness and staying healthy. No magic bullet exists, of course, and it’s important to point out that the best way to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus is to limit contact with others through social distancing. That said, experts believe that regular exercise can help strengthen the immune system, potentially fortifying our defenses in the face of an increasingly serious threat to our collective health and well-being.

The Connection Between Exercise and the Immune System

In a May, 2019 study published by The Journal of Sport and Health Science, researchers from Appalachian State University presented evidence to support “a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise and illness risk” as well as the ability of habitual exercise to improve immune regulation. A number of other studies have pointed out a connection between lifelong exercise and a healthy immune system, and the long-term health benefits of regular fitness have long been established by medical professionals.

Getting Fit Five Minutes at a Time

If you don’t already have a regular exercise routine in place, this may seem like a daunting time to set one up. Gyms across the country are closing temporarily and it’s hardly the best moment to run out to your local sporting goods store to stock up on equipment. Luckily, it’s easier than you may think to start implementing exercise into your daily life right away.

The Activ5 portable strength training device offers a series of personalized 5-minute workouts that you can easily complete without leaving home. All you need to get started is the Acitv5 device and a smartphone or tablet. The Activ5 app will guide you through the set-up process and let you choose from hundreds of simple exercises and workouts focused on specific muscle groups. Here are a few easy workouts to get you started:

Isometric Exercises

Standing Zen Chest Press

Hold Activ5 between both hands in prayer position with your elbows out, bent at 90 degrees

Lift your hands so your palms are just above eye level

Press Activ5 with both palms by squeezing your chest muscles

Keep your feet firmly on the ground

Plank Crush

Plank Crush

Begin on your elbows and knees

Place Activ5 underneath both palms

Straighten your legs, keeping them hip-width apart

Keep your back straight

Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet

Press Activ5 as you squeeze your core muscles

Clamshell

While seated, place Activ5 sideways between both heels

Straighten back and pull shoulders back

Press Activ5 with both feels as you squeeze your outer thighs

Be sure to keep your toes on the ground

It May be the End of the Gym as You Know It… but You can Still Feel Fine


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all in a million big and small ways, and it doesn’t look like things will get back to normal anytime soon. We are all being called upon to do our part to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of the virus through social distancing. While this is undeniably the right thing to do, isolating ourselves (and our kids!)  in our homes can make it difficult to engage in many of the routines and activities we use to keep ourselves healthy physically, psychologically and emotionally, making it even harder to get through the day-to-day challenges we’re all facing.

Gym Withdrawal

For many of us, going to the gym on a regular basis is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, whether through strength training, yoga classes, cardio workouts or countless other activities. Over 60 million people in the United States alone reportedly have active gym memberships, with total annual gym visits topping 6 billion. It can be extremely difficult to suddenly, albeit temporarily, lose access to the very hub of your fitness lifestyle during such trying times, and there will surely be no shortage of people experiencing real gym withdrawal in the days and weeks to come. If you’re among that group, we have a few ideas to help you keep your sanity and maintain your fitness routine when you can’t get to the gym.

Get Outside and Move Around

Obviously, if you have the resources, space and inclination to build a home gym with the kind of top-of-the-line equipment you’d find at your local fitness center, you probably don’t need much advice right now. For the rest of us, it’s important to create a fitness routine that takes advantage of the resources you *do* have at your disposal. One of those resources, assuming the weather cooperates, is the Great Outdoors. There’s no prohibition against getting outside and taking a walk, run or bike ride, as long as you can avoid crowded areas and stay six feet away from your neighbors. You may have been running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike for so long that you forgot all about the old-fashioned techniques our ancestors used, but there’s no time like the present to rediscover the ancient art of analog cardio. Stay calm, breathe in some fresh air and get moving!

Stay Inside and Build Strength

Another resource you have at your disposal is, well…your own body. By engaging in isometric exercises that don’t require weights or expensive equipment, you can build, grow and maintain strength in the comfort of your own home. That’s where the Activ5 device comes into play. Activ5 uses hundreds of unique workouts, exercises and games to build and grow strength in every area of the body, and all that’s required is a small portable device, an app on your phone or tablet, and your time. Think of Activ5 as a portable strength trainer built for the era of social distancing. Though it may not fully take the place of the actual trainer you’re used to seeing at the gym, it does offer a highly customized series of workouts and exercises that will help you reach your specific goals while taking into account your current fitness level, age, lifestyle and many other factors.

Stick to the Routine

Whatever fitness methods you choose to replace regular gym visits, it’s important to set up a routine and stick with it. Without the help and structure provided by a trainer, a regular set of classes or a group of workout buddies, it can be difficult to maintain a normal exercise schedule when everything else around you seems completely abnormal. But your body, mind and soul will be better off in the long run if you can continue to make fitness a regular part of your daily routine, and you’ll be raring to go once those gym doors open back up.