Tank top ready!

The warm summer days are here! And if you are anything like me or any of my tennis friends, this means valuable time in the sun working on your game and that tan. So I wanted to show off some of our cutest tank tops for practice, matches or the gym that will show off those arms. And to make sure your arms are tank top ready, I have a few exercises to help tone and tighten!

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These four exercises are really simple to add to your workout routine whether it’s at the end of a hit or while in the gym. You can do these 2-3 times a week to add a little extra focus on your arms. I suggest doing each of these exercises for 3 rounds and try to get in 10-15 reps in per round. Pick a weight that isn’t too heavy but is challenging enough that by the last couple reps your muscles are tired and feel a burn.
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“I hate it… but I love it!”

Half-man, half-animal, Tony Horton and the rest of the Beachbody crew are what I like to call, MANIMALS.

Power 90 Extreme, more known as P90X, has become a daily routine for some of us working at Tennis Warehouse. We wanted to see if this was the “Mother of all workouts” and if it actually benefited our abilities on the tennis court.

You don’t need a full gym to do this program. All you need are push-up bars (if you have wrist injuries), pull-up bar, weights, and/or bands (which is what I use when it comes to pull-ups). I did a search on Talk Tennis to see if others had jumped on the same bandwagon. It looks like a lot of people are interested in its hype. Some attempt it, some do it, but only some have completed it. As for myself and Chris, we are currently in Week 7 and still going strong.

There’s a total of three phases, each consisting different workouts spread out over 4 weeks. Once your body starts getting used to the first three weeks, it changes in the fourth week focusing on different groups, then body shock again into the next phase. They refer to it as Muscle Confusion. Basically, the program keeps introducing new routines preventing a workout plateau.

Your results truly depend on what you’re willing to put into the program. Since I’m doing most of the workouts with Chris, we push each other due to our competitive nature. It’s always a competition between us and the Beachbody crew; comparing our strength to them. At the beginning, I came out of every exercise exhausted, sometimes to the point of vomiting. Going into Week 7, I now come out of every exercise completely energized because my fitness level has risen. Take that Dreya Webber and one-legged Plyo man! I’m doing legs with more weights and Plyos is like a walk in the park!

Along with the P90x workouts, I’ve bumped my tennis to three days a week and the shoulder is doing pretty well. I still have to use bands most of the time for pull-ups, but push-ups have gotten much easier. On the court, I can hit a more aggressive shot on my back foot or if I’m pulled into a defensive position. The core strengthening exercises are transitioning well into helping me have a stronger coiling action. With all of the exploding leg exercises, I can speedily get to most of Chris’s drop shots now… only to find that he’ll usually lob me afterward! That guy and his drop shots… make me .. sooo.. frustrated.

Anyways, I have yet to jump on the P90x diet, because I admit it, I love my foods! Other than that, I give the developers and the program of P90x two-thumbs up! Have you jumped on the P90x hype? Diet or no diet? If so, how’s it been going? Can you see the results transitioning onto the tennis court like Chris and I have?

Peace Sign,
Kana

Come Heel or Highwater–Plantar Fasciitis must go!

Plantar Fasciitis…

No, it has nothing to do with anything green in the earth that you must water now and again. Unfortunately, for those afflicted.

For those not familiar, this is a medical term for an inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia (thick connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot) often caused by excessive wear and/or lack of support. Still not familiar? Let me put it in layman’s terms: If it feels like you’ve jumped off a step barefoot and your heel landed on a small pebble, chances are, you have Plantar Fasciitis. This is what I first thought when I felt it. “Geez, I don’t remember stepping on a pebble when I was barefoot, nor do I see a bruise…but I must have stepped on something.” After three months or so of this “got tack hammered on the heel” feeling, I decided to consult an old friend that is now a podiatrist.

His first question: “Does it hurt most when you get out of bed in the morning?”
Answer: Yes.

“Does it also hurt after you’ve been sitting awhile and get up to walk, as well as later on after you’ve cooled down from exercise?
Answer: Yes.

“Does it burn when you urinate?”
Answer: What does that have to do with my heel?

“Just kidding”, he says. I guess when you’re getting free medical help, it’s hard to complain about the bad jokes.

“It sounds like you’re suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.”

He then proceeded to explain what it actually is and list things I can do to help heal it. Get it? Heal it? As in Heel it? That’s my best podiatry humor. I apologize.

So now that I knew what it was, I began to share what was bothering me with my sport-fanatic as well as non-sport-fanatic peers. I quickly realized that Plantar Fasciitis is not as rare as I thought. As a matter of fact, the more people I talked to about it, the more I learned that many of my friends and associates have dealt with it at some point, or at least have known someone that has. From my favorite world class athlete to a friend that just likes walking barefoot in the local Taco Bell, it can affect anyone.

After plenty of conversations and research, I learned that the best thing one can do is to rest it to let it heal. And the earlier it’s recognized and dealt with, the quicker the healing (usually). On the flip side, if it’s ignored or not dealt with, it is something that can become much more severe and linger on for months or even years.

If you’ve suffered from this dastardly affliction, please feel free to share your experiences and let us know what you’ve done to help remedy it!

Heel-ingly yours,

Spencer