How to Use a Foam Roller (Video)

You might have seen those funny foam cylinders lying in the corner at the gym, but what the heck are they? They’re called foam rollers. Think of them as little (and free!) massage therapists for your sore, tired muscles. Neat, no?

Fusion Cross-training’s Jesse Frank gives us a simple, concise and effective lesson on foam rolling in this week’s video tutorial. Plus you’ll learn exactly how to adjust your body and the roller to hit critical areas if you’re a runner or avid gym-goer.

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Anyone Can Do Pull-ups (Video)

Does doing a pull-up seem next to impossible? Don’t be too hard on yourself—pull-ups are one the toughest upper body exercises you can do. But here’s a secret you might not know: There are ways to modify pull-ups to make them possible at any fitness level.

In the video below, we demo easy modifications you can do to help build strength. Follow our advice and I promise—you’ll be doing pull-ups in no time.

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Yoga and Stretching for Runners (Video)

You’re a runner—and that’s awesome—but are you putting as much energy into your stretching routine as you are to your running schedule? I’ve seen so many runners who don’t stretch the way they should; lots of them end up injured and sidelined. Bleak, right?

Here’s a way to avoid that fate: Fusion Cross-training owner/trainer Jesse Frank designed a yoga-inspired routine that can be done immediately after your run. Just find a grassy area, take 10 minutes to do some down dogs, and you’re well on your way to optimizing your recovery and performance.

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Strength Training for Runners (Video)

Distance running is great but it comes with a whole set of overuse injuries to watch out for. Part of the problem is poor form (learn proper running technique here), but another common culprit is muscle imbalances that force your body to compensate in ways it’s not meant to, leading to injury. Jesse Frank, Fusion Cross-training owner/trainer and partner of Team Philly Race Training, has designed a strength routine with runners in mind. Work it into your routine to help optimize your race-day performance, bring muscles back to balance and minimize injury.

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Learn the Perfect Push-Up (Video)

In all my years of training, I have to say that the push-up is oftentimes the exercise that clients struggle with the most. It is one of the basic upper-body exercises, one that everyone knows and has tried to do at some point, so there’s an expectation we can all just … do it.

That’s probably why people get so upset at themselves when they struggle so much to perform one. The fact is that most people use terrible form when they try to do a push-up, and with a few key steps almost anyone can learn to do one perfectly. That includes you.

Nick Tini, one of my coaches at Fusion Cross-training, gives a step-by-step tutorial in the video below.

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Broad Street Training: How to Perfect Your Running Form (Video)

It might seem like learning the correct technique for running would be like learning the correct technique for breathing (i.e. intuitive, innate). This is not exactly the case—at least, not at this point in history, after we’ve become accustomed to super-cushioned, heal-lifted sneakers and while many of us have never really played running sports. So I put together a concise but comprehensive video training to give you the key elements of a healthy running form that can help you to run longer and faster without as many injuries. Perfecting timing for Broad Street, eh?

It’s simple—just remember this mantra: length, lean, lift, relax. The video below breaks down each of these guiding principles with examples and even some drills that so that you can take these keys and experience how seemingly subtle differences in your running movement can produce huge lifelong results.

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Jen Utley’s Favorite (Healthy!) Philly Restaurant

 

Philly is a restaurant town, so it’s impossible to live in city society without spending some of your time dining out. If you are like me and don’t want to throw out your healthy diet every time you head out for a bite, it helps to have a lineup of healthier restaurant suggestions on hand. While I do believe you can find healthier options in most restaurants, here is a quick guide to the city’s healthiest dining choices taken from some of my notable clients and coaches at Fusion Cross-training’s Philly studio.

Jen Utley
Morimoto, 723 Chestnut Street
The highest standard in Japanese food and sushi in Philadelphia—along with ultra-modern décor—Morimoto is a great place to go when you want to impress. What does Jen love? “The salmon sashimi, himachi tiradito, and the calamari salad,” and Chase gets “tons of sushi. Mainly tuna, salmon, and yellow tail,” says Jen. Read more »

VIDEO: Power Up Your Workouts

Power training is a style of advanced, high-intensity, resistance exercise that increases people’s athleticism and ability to generate force with speed. It can be done with weights, bands, balls or just body weight as the resistance, but the key is to be able to move explosively through a full range of motion with balance and speed. Plyometrics is a form of power training, which is essentially jumping in all its various forms—which jacks your heart rate while fatiguing the muscles quickly. Other examples are kettlebell swings, speed band work and sprinting up hills. Read more »

What It Takes to Look Sexy for Summer

You have to feel sexy before you look sexy. And to get that feeling you have to be happy with your body and confident in yourself, which takes true commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. I’ve seen my clients make major transformations in as short as 10 weeks by following the four tips below, and now I’m sharing them with you. If you start following these now, you’ll never have to worry about bathing suit season again. Read more »

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