No Matter Your Sport, You Must Do Squats


Squats Are for Everyone!

Too many people repeat the same workouts every day and neglect squats. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, you might think, “I want to lose weight, so I should just burn calories with cardio. I don’t need to do strength exercises like squats.” You would be wrong! Squatting is one of the single best things you can do for your body. Squats help burn fat, build strength, and improve overall fitness. There are several different ways to squat, including isometric squats, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of the reason you’re exercising, your routine must include squats.

All athletes benefit from squats

As an athlete, it’s easy to focus too much on one type of exercise, especially if you’re a specialized athlete like a sprinter or a swimmer. The truth is, though, that exercises like squats promote overall fitness and can actually improve your performance in sport-specific movements. The Poliquin Group found that squatting enhanced a variety of abilities in athletes, including sprint speed and vertical jump height. Simply put, squats make your body work better!

Squats make your body stronger and healthier

Squatting is an excellent way to protect yourself from injuries and osteoporosis because it strengthens muscles and improves bone density. One study showed that adding multiple squat workouts per week made women stronger and significantly raised their bone mineral content. Squats make you a better athlete and prolong your athletic career by making you healthier!

Experiment with Isometric Squats

People are normally familiar with squats done eccentrically and concentrically by repeating the motions of squatting the body down and pushing it back up. Isometric squats consist of getting into the squatting position and holding it. They are a great variation to regular squats as they are better at building muscular endurance and they don’t put as much stress on your joints. Isometric squats also help athletes overcome sticking points, and improves body control.

Try Activ5 Squats for a fun, easy and effective squat workout!

Activbody recently developed the Activ5, which is a connected device that pairs with smartphone apps to coach you through full body workouts. The Activ5 measures strength, tracks progress and makes exercise more fun and enjoyable. The Activ5 Squat is an isometric exercise which makes use of static positions to amplify athleticism. Activ5 Squats have been found to register increased EMG muscle activity when compared to traditional squats and may be a great addition to your routine!

Activ5 Health Tip: Workouts For Frequent Travelers


Whether for business or pleasure, travel is a frequent part of modern life. Regrettably, even those of us who exercise at home, often forget or ignore  exercise when we’re on the road. Whether due to lack of time or the right equipment, exercise often takes a back seat. Ironically exercise is perhaps more important for frequent travelers who spend a lot of sedentary time on planes, trains and automobiles. We’re also less likely to eat well when we travel, making metabolism boosting exercise even more important.

Activ5 offers a unique device solution for people on-the-go, who do not want to compromise their health. Activ5 is compact, allowing you to accomplish full body workouts, regardless of the space or time constraints. Workouts with Activ5 not only include both sitting and standing exercises, but also require just 5 minutes. They can even be done on the train or in a plane.

Activ5 is the latest in technological innovation – it is a puck-sized device, which can easily withstand up to 200 pounds of pressure. Because of it’s small size, Activ5 is significantly easier to travel with as the device can fit right in your pocket, purse or briefcase. Simply connect Activ5 to the companion mobile app via Bluetooth, and choose from the variety of exercises targeting different areas of the body. You do not need any extra equipment – only Activ5 and your iOS or Android phone. By exerting pressure onto the device in a controlled manner, you can successfully build strength and tone your body. Gaut & Girandola (2016) found that participants who undertook a six week Activ5 Challenge, exercising with Activ5 for just 15 minutes per day, increased their strength by an average of 30%, the equivalent of a 5% weekly increase.

Gaut (2016) also compared Activ5 (isometric) exercises with traditional (isotonic) exercises. The study found that on average Activ5 squats generated 39% more Quad muscle activity compared to their traditional version. Further, when compared to a treadmill workout Activ5 produced 59% more Quad muscle activity. 

What separates Activ5 from other alternatives are its simplicity and efficiency. All you need is Activ5 and your smartphone. Space or time are no longer an issue. Simply select your desired exercise and adopt the position shown on the screen. You control the amount of pressure you exert on the device in order to follow a curve displayed in the app. It’s that simple! Activ5 uses the latest exercise science to ensure every minute is well spent, The workout sessions can be anywhere from thirty seconds to five minutes. It’s up to you and your schedule.

Activ5 keeps you active throughout your day with simple exercises that can be performed at your discretion. All exercises are designed to be fast and fun, while simultaneously improving your strength, burning calories and keeping you fit and healthy. Since Activ5 isometric workouts are static and discreet, you can perform them on a plane, train or in a hotel room, thus keeping you healthy and active anywhere, anytime. You do not have to sacrifice your health while you travel anymore!

References:

1.    The Effect of the Activ5 Fitness Challenge on Total Body Appearance, Pant and Dress Size, Body Fat Mass and Weight Loss for Normal, Overweight, and Obese Men and Women. Eddie Gaut & Dr. Bob Girandola, ITG, a division of Detaug Testing Centers. Nov 19th 2016.

2.    “Electromyography Muscle Activity: A Single Activ5 Exercise vs. Treadmill Workout, Indoor Cycle, Squats, Lunges and Abdominal Crunches”. Eddie Gaut, Detaug Testing Center. December 2016.

Our first Activ5 Multiplayer Game: ActivSumo


Great news! You can now enjoy even more games with your Activ5! If you enjoy playing multiplayer video games and competing with your friends and family, we have some great news. We just launched ActivSumo, a game which allows you to compete in a sumo match against a digital or real life opponent.

Best of all ActivSumo is our first multiplayer game! In ActivSumo, as in the classic Japanese sport, opponents struggle to push each other out of the ring. Just as in real life, victory requires a combination of strength and dexterity.

ActivSumo brings a whole new dimension to the “one-on-one fight” genre, because you must use your muscle force to beat your opponent so each “match” is a real workout. You can play Sumo with anyone  – even if they’re much stronger or weaker than you. This is because the game incorporates Activ5’s calibration technology to create a level playing field for both players.

Now for the first time you can compete against your friends and really put your strength to the test! Of course, you’ll need two Activ5 devices to play in multiplayer mode. Just connect both devices via Bluetooth and you will be ready to start competing.

Download the new Sumo game from the Games section in your Activ5 app or by simply searching “Activ5 Sumo” in the App or Play Store.

We hope you enjoy this new addition! Comment below and let us know if you have other game ideas you like to see added to the Activ5 game library!

 

Recommended Muscle-Strengthening Workouts


Exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle.  The Centers for Disease Control recommends engaging in muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week in order to stay fit and healthy. Strength training is essential to any comprehensive exercise routine, and thus, is ideal for anyone, regardless of age or gender. A  form of strength training finding renewed popularity are isometric exercises, which are low impact and require no movement whatsoever (Housh, 1995). Isometric-based workouts are able to fully engage multiple muscle groups to build strength and endurance.

Isometric training, also known as static strength training, involves generating muscles force without changing the joint angle or muscle length. This kind of training is often preferred over isotonic exercise (which involves movement), as they share many of the same benefits. However, isometrics has a significantly lower risk of injury. Furthermore, isometrics require little space and thus can be performed in any environment.

How Activ5 Helps Muscle-Strengthening

Activ5 is a one of a kind device, which allows you to exercise anywhere. It is a Bluetooth-enabled, portable fitness device that includes over 100 isometric-based full body workouts. Together with its companion mobile app, Activ5 coaches you through each exercise, while measuring and tracking your performance. With a variety of workouts available, including simple seated exercises, fun standing, and more challenging floor exercises, Activ5 is suitable for anyone. All workouts are designed to be completed in 5 minutes. Thus, an Activ5 workout can easily fit into any schedule, whether you’re a stay at home mom or have a demanding office job. Further, as the device measures the force you apply and customizes to your strength level, Activ5 will deliver results whether you’re a fitness pro or novice.

An independent study commissioned to track Activ5 results revealed that in 6 weeks, strength increased by an average of 30%.  Top performers even lost 3 inches off their waist and had cut a significant amount of body fat (Gaut & Girandola, 2016). In fact, the same study found that Activ5 squats generate 39% more quad muscle engagement compared to traditional squats, illustrating how astounding isometric muscle-strengthening is.

Other Activ5 Isometric Exercise Benefits

In addition, there are also a majority of health benefits that make this device essential to your life. When undertaken regularly, isometric exercises has numerous benefits, including endurance, weight loss, improving range of motion, lowering blood pressure, and even ending bad habits such as smoking. A notable advantage of using Activ5 is the amount of time it can save you. For example, an average Activ5 exercise takes 30 seconds to complete, while workouts take up to five minutes. Therefore, you can accomplish a meaningful workout in a fraction of the time it takes to visit a gym. 

Since Activ5 isometric workouts are static and discreet, you can perform them on a plane, while seated or standing, or at home. In other words, you can avoid the burden of planning a gym workout. Most importantly, Activ5 workouts are quick and fun, facilitating you on your health journey and leaving you toned and full of energy.

References

  1. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1995;70(4):337-43. Effects Of Unilateral Isometric Strength Training On Joint Angle Specificity And Cross-Training. Weir JP, Housh TJ, Weir LL, Johnson GO.
  2. J. Appl. Physiol. (1978) 40: 45. doi:10.1007/BF00420988. Effect Of Isometric Strength Training On Mechanical, Electrical, And Metabolic Aspects Of Muscle Function. Komi, P.V., Viitasalo, J.T., Rauramaa, R. et al.
  3. The Effect of the Activ5 Fitness Challenge on Total Body Appearance, Pant and Dress Size, Body Fat Mass and Weight Loss for Normal, Overweight, and Obese Men and Women. Eddie Gaut & Dr. Bob Girandola, ITG, a division of Detaug Testing Centers. Nov 19th 2016.
  4. Electromyography Muscle Activity: A Single Activ5 Exercise vs. Treadmill Workout, Indoor Cycle, Squats, Lunges and Abdominal Crunches”. Eddie Gaut, Detaug Testing Center. December 2016.

Portable Fitness Device for Fun Exercises at Home and Office


Portable Fitness Device for Fun Exercises at Home and Office

Almost everyone wants to be active, but many struggle to overcome the obstacles everyday life places in our way. According to the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (1), the most common reasons people don’t exercise are a lack of time, tiredness after work, and family/home obligations. The good news is, Activ5 created a portable fitness device that can provide a substantial strength training workout while at home or the desk.

The first of its kind, Activ5‘s revolutionary technology was designed by busy professionals and parents who also struggled with finding time for exercise. They worked for years to create a smart device that makes exercising quick, effective and fun. Activ5 combines technology and exercise science to personalize each workout to you and maximize every minute of exercise.

Benefits of Activ5’s Isometric System

To make exercise accessible, Activ5 comes with a smartphone app that coaches you through five-minute isometric workouts.  In isometric exercises, you tense your muscles against each other or a static object so your muscles are working hard but aren’t moving.  As a result, isometrics are often used by pro athletes for training and rehabilitation, because they are highly effective at building strength with little stress on joints and reduce the risk of injury. Furthermore, scientists have proven that isometric training can also lower blood pressure, accelerate weight loss, reduce pain, and increase energy levels (2).

Activ5 is an innovative portable fitness device, unlike any other exercise equipment you’ve seen before. Activ5 is light but strong, fitting comfortably in your hand, pocket or purse. The device and app measure your strength and adjust each exercise to you. So while each exercise is short, it’s also challenging. You won’t break a big sweat with Activ5 (making it ideal for work), but you’ll feel the burn in your muscles.  You can workout with Activ5 pretty much anywhere – yes, even the center seat in coach class!

Activ5 isn’t just portable and fast, it gets results too. A study by Gaut & Girandola found users increased their strength by an average of 30% over six weeks by using Activ5 for just 5 minutes, three times a day (3). Activ5 is perfect for anyone who wants to get and stay fit but can’t devote hours to the gym. Also, it’s great for regular gym visitors who travel or are just looking to add some variety to their workouts. 

There is nothing else quite like Activ5. It will make you stronger and save you time. It may be one of the simplest and fastest way to increase your fitness, tone up, and achieve your health goals. However busy you are, Activ5 really removes your excuses, so get one and get strong!

References

  1. Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute. Progress in Prevention: Barriers to Physical Activity.1996. 1-4.
  2. Journal of Applied Physiology Published 1 April 1988 Vol. 64 no. 4, 1500-1505 Myoelectrical And Mechanical Changes Linked To Length Specificity During Isometric Training. C. Thepaut-Mathieu, J. Van Hoecke, B. Maton
  3. The Effect of the Activ5 Fitness Challenge on Total Body Appearance, Pant and Dress Size, Body Fat Mass and Weight Loss for Normal, Overweight, and Obese Men and Women. Eddie Gaut & Dr. Bob Girandola, ITG, a division of Detaug Testing Centers. Nov 19th 2016.

Introducing a new Activ5 Game: Ski


Introducing a new Activ5 Game: Ski

Great news folks!  Your Activ5 iOS app is getting a strength boost with a brand new Activ5 game.

It is well known that isometrics is a big part of what makes skiing such an effective workout. Which is why integrating it into the Activ5 app was an obvious and inevitable decision from the very start.

We have now added the much-anticipated Activ5 game, “Ski,” which allows you to simultaneously play and exercise from our core app. Who said fitness can’t be fun?

To try it out, simply go into Preferences in your Activ5 app and under “Exercise Theme” select “Ski”. You’re all set to hit the slopes!

In addition, – especially for our international users – our app now supports metric units, so you can now measure your muscle power in kilograms as well as pounds. You will also notice a series of other improvements, including a new exercise curve tutorial and better tracking for your workouts, making your path to better fitness even easier.

As always, if you enjoy the app and our Activ5 games, don’t forget to leave us a review! We appreciate your feedback.

Stay tuned for more exciting features!

Why Isometric Exercise is More Efficient Than Working Out at the Gym


Do you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) both recommend that all adults participate in muscle strength training exercises at least twice a week? Besides improving overall fitness and balance, strength training will help protect you from back and other skeletal injuries. Many think that strength training means that they need to go to the gym, but that’s not true. In fact, isometric exercises can be performed easily pretty-much anywhere and isometric workout results have been proven to build muscle strength in less time than fancy gym machines.

Isometric Training Results Take Less Time Than Going to the Gym

It’s difficult for most of us to set aside a large chunk of time for exercise. In addition to the time you actually spend working out, you have to consider the drive to your gym, putting on athletic gear, and waiting for equipment to become available. Without at least an hour of free time, you can forget about the gym.

Isometric exercises don’t take nearly as long because your isometric gym is basically anywhere. Research shows exercising with isometrics can be much more efficient than working out with commercial weight-lifting equipment. An article published in the Journal of Applied Research shows that isometric exercises results in 4.1 to 15.9 times more muscle work in an equivalent time than a similar exercise on a weight machine. So if you’re short on time, isometric workout results may help you reach your fitness goals faster.

The Science Behind Isometric Workout Results

The Journal of Applied Research study shows that isometric exercise benefits muscles in several ways. Since dynamic exercises such as lifting weights require muscles to contract and relax, they pump blood back to the heart. Isometric exercise’s sustained muscle effort, however, temporarily stops blood from flowing freely.

Preventing blood flow deprives oxygen from your mitochondria and stimulates the production of free oxygen radicals. This in turn reduces the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Since a lower concentration of ATP has been associated with building muscle strength, you can expect to get faster results from isometric exercises than dynamic exercises.

This may sound a bit complicated, but it’s just a scientific way of explaining why isometric exercises improve muscle strength faster than dynamic exercise. When you’re looking for quick results, it makes sense to choose an isometric fitness program because of how the exercises effect your muscles.

It’s Easy to Stay Interested in Isometric Exercises

Lifting weights can be boring. Even when you listen to fun music, it’s hard to stay interested in traditional exercise plans that keep you in the gym. Isometric training results can come more quickly and keep you more motivated.

The Activ5 from Activbody will help to keep you interested in working out. The Activ5 gamifies workouts, so you stay more engaged while you exercise. The amount of pressure you apply to the Activ5 device controls how your character moves in games. That mean great results while having fun.  You’ll stay so focused on Activ5 games that you’ll breeze through workout sessions without feeling bored. Activ5’s mobile app also creates personalized isometric workouts.

Going to the gym is the most popular way for people to gain strength, but it isn’t the most efficient. When you want fast isometric workout results without spending a lot of money or wasting valuable time, isometric exercise is clearly the better option.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WCJsQneZNBw

http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/why-a-gym-membership-is-usually-a-bad-investment.html/?a=viewall

http://www.statisticbrain.com/gym-membership-statistics/

https://www.activ5.com/

5 of the Best Low-Impact Workouts for Those Over 50


5 of the Best Low-Impact Workouts for Those Over 50

According to Be Fit Over Fifty, remaining sedentary results in many of the conditions and symptoms of aging. However, many people still avoid exercise due to the fear of injury, especially those over the age of 50. A good solution is to perform low-impact workouts as they minimize the potential for injury and offer a wide range of exercises. Here are 5 of the best low-impact workouts that can help you stay active and avoid injury:

1. Rowing

Many people prefer rowing because it can provide a solid workout without putting any stress on the knees. This particular exercise can be done inside on a machine or outside while actually rowing on a body of water. Not only is it a strength workout, but rowing offers many cardiovascular benefits. Rowing provides one of the most intense, full-body workouts while still remaining low-impact and injury-free.

2. Recumbent Biking

A recumbent bike allows you to not only remain seated but to also recline comfortably throughout the exercise. There are several benefits to working out with this type of exercise machine. For starters, you won’t be leaning on the handlebars, which can cause strain on wrists and elbows. Further, the seat on the recumbent bike is not only comfortable but also provides the rider with a low center of gravity – this makes the rider and the bike more stable.

3. Swimming

Swimming is the ultimate low-impact workout that provides little to no stress on joints and muscles. High 50 Health states that, while swimming is low-impact, it still provides an incredible workout by using all the major muscles in your body. It simultaneously strengthens your whole body! What’s more, it also offers a great cardiovascular workout. Swimming is both a relaxing and fun way to burn calories.

4. Dancing

Whether it’s ballroom, salsa or any number of types and styles, dancing has been increasing in popularity in recent years. Dancing is a natural and fun way to get a workout in, without putting excessing stress on your joints. As dancing offers many different styles and tempos, it is easy to find one that suits your needs best. This means that anyone, regardless of age, can get a great workout and have fun in the meantime. Dance classes not only provide mental stimulation, but are also a great opportunity for social interaction!

5. Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercises are great as they do not require much movement and consequently, do not put enormous stress on the joints. These exercises are designed not to change the length of muscles, but to improve strength. Common isometric exercises include hand presses, wall sits, and various yoga poses. The Activ5 device is specifically designed to help you with isometric exercise in a way that is convenient, easy and fun. Paired with a smartphone app, this small and portable device presents you with a variety of quick and easy workouts that are all personalized to your fitness level. Activ5 coaches you through different exercises, all the while measuring and tracking your progress. You can exercise virtually anywhere and anytime. It’s flexible, portable and personalized.

The importance of staying active increases as you age. Thankfully, there are plenty of fun, low-impact workouts that help keep you physically fit and active.

Isometrics Can Accelerate Your Metabolism and Help You Lose Weight


Isometrics Can Accelerate Your Metabolism and Help You Lose Weight

Obesity is one of the most alarming health crises facing the United States. Nearly 40 percent of Americans live with obesity. When you include people who are overweight, you see that more than 70 percent of the adult population struggles to lead healthy lifestyles. Some people think they can’t lose weight because they would have to make dramatic changes to their lives. In truth, research shows that you can get in shape and accelerate your metabolism by exercising only a few minutes each day. You just need to follow an isometric exercise program that works for you.

Isometric Exercise Can Increase Muscle Strength and Metabolism

Most people go to the gym so they can use weights to perform dynamic exercises. Isometric exercises, however, don’t require much movement. In fact, you get more benefits by contracting muscles and holding them in that position for several seconds. Common isometric exercises include wall sitting, low squats and yoga poses.

When it comes to gaining muscle strength, isometric exercises offer a significant advantage over dynamic exercises such as lifting weights and running. A study lead by Jerrold Petrofsky finds that one month of isometric exercise increased the strength of some muscles by more than 30 percent. It’s rare to see such fast results from dynamic exercise plans.

According to the study, an isometric exercise regiment increased bicep strength by 20.5 percent, triceps strength by 15.3 percent, abdominal strength by 24 percent, quadriceps strength by 15.5 percent and gluteus maximus strength by 32.1 percent.

By increasing muscle strength, you simultaneously boost your metabolism. This means that isometric exercises can help you lose weight even if you don’t make changes to your diet. Ideally, you will start to eat a balanced diet that improves your health. Even if you don’t alter your caloric intake, though, you can shed some weight with a seated exercise routine that you can do at your desk, at home or even on an airplane.

Isometric Exercise Can Give You a Slimmer Look

If you’re primarily interested in improving your appearance, isometric exercise gives you a chance to slim down quickly. Subjects in the Petrofsky study saw their waists and thighs shrink during their four-week trials. At the beginning of the study, Petrofsky’s subjects had an average waist circumference of 88.9 cm (35 inches). After four weeks of exercising and following a sensible diet, the average waist circumference fell to 87.5 cm (34.45 inches). Participants lost more than half an inch from their waists in just one month.

When measuring the thighs of subjects, Petrofsky’s researchers found that the average size fell from 56.2 cm (22 inches) to 55.4 cm (21.8 inches). Reaching this goal within four weeks shows how powerful isometric exercise is for people trying to lose weight.

Isometric Workouts Require Little Time

Running, lifting weights and other types of dynamic exercise usually require you to spend half an hour or more at the gym. If you already have a busy schedule, you may find it impossible to take that much time out of your day.

With isometric exercise, you only need to workout for seven minutes per day. You don’t even need to go to the gym to finish your exercise plan for the day. An isometric training device like Activ5 lets you exercise quickly no matter where you are. You can squeeze in a few minutes while you’re at work or sitting on the couch. You can even complete a workout while traveling on an airplane. Since Activ5 turns exercise into a fun game, you’ll also find it easier to stay committed to your fitness goals.

If you’re looking for a fast way to lose weight, increase your metabolism and gain strength, isometric exercise will put you on the path to reach your goals. Instead of torturing yourself at the gym, choose an easy home workout that will give you more benefits without forcing you to spend money on a membership.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm

http://jrnlappliedresearch.com/articles/Vol7Iss1/Petrofsky.pdf

https://www.activ5.com/

6 Ways to Have Fun Workouts


6 Ways to Have Fun Workouts

A steady, regular fitness routine can often become stale and boring – but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re stuck in a fitness rut and want to enjoy fun workouts, consider one of these six tips to liven things up.

1. Try a new fitness craze

Mix up your normal workout routine by trying something different. Explore YouTube’s huge online fitness community, or attend a new class at your local gym, such as Zumba, TRX, boxing or Barre. You’ll work a new set of muscles to help you get stronger, and you might find your new fitness obsession.

2. Workout with a buddy

Working out is sometimes easier when you have a friend for company. Tag along the next time your friend hits the gym so your workout doubles as a social hour. A fun workout buddy can also help keep you accountable to a normal schedule.

3. Start an office workout challenge

Who says fitness is an after-hours activity? Join some coworkers and organize an office fitness challenge. Consider tracking daily workouts and hosting weekly group fitness classes at the office. As a group, you can also explore how to workout at your desks with discreet routines like isometric exercises.

4. Add new media to your workouts

If your workouts are boring, try adding in some new entertainment. Create an upbeat playlist, listen to a newly released album, check out a new podcast, or visit a cardio theater. Not only will you be entertained, but your workout will fly by.

5. Get outside the gym

Not all workouts happen within a gym’s four walls. Try something active that gets you outside – like hiking, mountain biking or swimming. Take it a step further and consider completing any of those routines while enjoying new scenery. Depending on where you live, a run on the beach or a bike ride through a park you’ve never visited might be just what you need.

6. Gamify your workout

Download a fitness tracking app, and challenge yourself or your friends to reach new fitness goals. Tracking your activity and progress can be extremely rewarding, and some friendly competition can create fun workouts.

Don’t settle for a boring fitness routine. Try incorporating one of these six tips into your exercise regimen to make your workouts more enjoyable.