How to Use Yoga Blocks to Strengthen Your Body

Yoga is one of the best ways to improve your flexibility, mobility, and strength. Of course, each of these territories has its own best exercises, and when it comes to strength training, yoga blocks are the perfect way to kick your yoga sessions up a notch. From intensifying already existing exercises to opening up opportunities for new ones, let’s take a look at how you can use yoga bricks to strengthen your body.

Yoga Poses With Blocks

Of course, if you’re looking specifically for new yoga poses to try out your new yoga mat and block set on, there are plenty of those as well. The downward-facing dog pose, for example, gains a lot from a yoga block, working to not only boost your leg and lower back strength, but improve your balance as well. Another of our favorites is the butterfly stretch, where you can place either ankle on the block to change things up a little.

Enhance Your Everyday Exercises

Yoga Poses With yoga Blocks

As mentioned above, yoga blocks fit right into many common exercises that you may even already be practicing. Workout staples like planks and pushups become much more of a challenge when a yoga block is added to the equation. That extra bit of elevation makes a huge difference, requiring your muscles to work much harder and making for a better workout overall.

Of course, the yoga block isn’t limited to just planks and pushups. The exercises that a yoga block can enhance are near-limitless, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them a little! You’d be surprised how many of your favorite exercises can be adapted to a yoga equipment, and just how much of an impact that yoga block can have on the quality of your workouts.

Work On Your Balance and Coordination

Yoga Blocks

Finally, there’s your balance and coordination. While balance and coordination training isn’t strength training in its purest sense, having greater dexterity and flexibility reduces the risk of injury during those tougher strength workouts. 

One of our favorite yoga block balance exercises is the classic series of warrior poses. If you feel like you’ve mastered the original poses, using a yoga block will allow you to refine them even further, and your sense of balance with them. With a balance between coordination and strength exercises, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better, happier you!

Looking for more great fitness tips and products? Visit NineFit today!

Things to Keep in Mind While Buying Your First Wetsuit- Women’s Guide 

When you’re swimming or diving in colder waters, your summery swimsuit won’t always cut it. If that’s the case, you’ll need to invest in a wetsuit. It allows a greater degree of insulation against the cold, and as such, are perfect for all sorts of weather conditions. Of course, picking out your first wetsuit may seem overwhelming, so we’re here to simplify things a bit. Take a look at our guide to what to look for when buying a wetsuits, as well as a few of the most important things to consider!

Weather Conditions

The most important thing to keep in mind when buying your first wetsuit is the weather conditions you plan to use it under. They are designed to insulate you from chilly water temperatures, but specific wetsuits aren’t always well-suited to specific weather conditions and temperature ranges. Depending on the conditions you’re planning to venture into, you may want to go for a thicker or thinner. How do you decide, though? Let’s take a look.

Wetsuit Thickness Guide

Woman is swimming wearing a wetsuit

The thickness of your wetsuit varies depending on how cold the water you’re planning to swim in is. Above temperatures of 22 degrees or so, just a regular swimsuit will be fine, but once you start dropping below 19, you’ll start needing a wetsuit. For temperatures that are only slightly too chilly for a standard swimsuit, a 2-millimeter thick sleeveless wetsuit should be enough.

However, as water temperatures continue to drop, you’ll need progressively thicker one, ranging between 3 millimeters thick and 6 millimeters thick. In addition, you’ll start needing some additional accessories.

Wetsuit Accessories

Wetsuit Accessories

Whether for safety, convenience, or extra warmth, there are several wetsuit accessories that despite being optional, are always great to have along. First and foremost, there’s a wetsuit bag. If you want to take home some keepsakes from the ocean or like keeping a few first-aid supplies on hand, a bag will provide you a lightweight space to carry the essentials wherever you go.

As for safety and warmth, once you get into colder waters, you’ll want to invest in wetsuit boots, gloves, and a hood. In addition to a thicker wetsuit, these accessories will provide the warmth you need to protect yourself from hypothermia and allow you to explore comfortably.

Looking for more great advice and products for your active lifestyle? Visit NineFit today!

5 Best Weighted Bar Exercises for Beginners

Looking to get into weightlifting? Weighted bar exercises are a great place to start, but before anything, you’ll need a few basic exercises. Some exercises are more difficult or strenuous than others, so if you’re just starting out, it’s best to start with the basics. Let’s take a look at some of the best barbell exercises for beginners, as well as the best types of bars and equipment for them.

1. Bar Squat

The bar squat is an extremely simple exercise, but is no less effective for it. You’ll want a regular squat bar, and may want to add a barbell pad to prevent discomfort during longer sessions with many reps.  Regular squats are a great lower-body workout by themselves, so adding a barbell is the perfect way to intensify them, giving your glutes and hamstrings a solid challenge.

2. Bench Press

Weighted Bar Exercises: Bench Press

If it’s an upper-body workout you’re after, bench presses are the perfect exercise for you. To get started, you’ll need a weight bench, a standard barbell, and barbell clips to keep the plates from falling off the bar. Bench presses hit your pecs, shoulder muscles, and arm muscles, so they’re great for gaining a bit of upper-body bulk.

3. Barbell Lunge

Barbell lunges are another classic exercise enhanced with the extra weight from barbells. You’ll need similar equipment to the equipment for a bar squat, and the lunges themselves are just as simple. The lunging motion is the exact same as a standard lunge, but much like barbell squats, you’ll need to brace your barbell against your upper back. They work similar muscles to bar squats as well, so if you’re not a fan of squats, lunges are a great alternative!

4. Bar Curl

Weighted Bar Exercises: Bar Curl

Bar curls focus heavily on your biceps, making them perfect for building forearm strength. While holding the barbell, all you have to do is flex both arms at once to fully fold them, then slowly relax them and return to a resting position. Though they seem simple at first, they can be surprisingly intense depending on the weight you use, so feel free to challenge yourself!

5. Classic Deadlift

The deadlift is a lifting routine staple, and well worth the effort if you’re interested in adding it to your routine. It’s a great all-purpose workout, working glutes, core, back and arm muscles all at once. It’s great to challenge yourself and get the absolute most out of your workout, so we recommend it to anyone looking to start lifting!

Looking for more great fitness tips and products? Visit NineFit today!

5 Cardio Workouts to Try in Your Gym

Doing a gym cardio routine is hugely beneficial for your health, but a lot of people aren’t sure where to start. In this article, you’ll find five of the best cardio workouts to try so you don’t have to feel clueless the next time you head to the gym. 

Cardio exercises at the gym (and anywhere) increase your heart rate. It jumpstarts your metabolism and allows your body to burn calories at a quicker rate. They’re also great for warming up, and cardio after weight training is a great way to make sure you target every area of your body. 

The Best Cardio Workouts

Here are five cardio workouts to try:


Man is doing cardio workouts

The treadmill is definitely the most popular cardio gym workout. When you use it, we recommend building up to a run instead of starting at a fast pace – or, if you’d like, switch between power walking, jogging, and running.

2. Stair Machine

The stair machine, though you might not expect it, is one of the most challenging cardio workouts at the gym. It works your heart and your glutes, hips, and thighs – and if you want to increase the difficulty, try incorporating squats, lunges, and crossover steps as you climb. 

3. Elliptical 

Working out on elliptical

The elliptical offers the benefits of the treadmill without putting so much pressure on your joints. On this machine, you can walk, run, or climb by moving in an elongated circle. Your feet never leave the pedals, which means you don’t experience the repeated pounding that you get on a treadmill. Pushing and pulling the handlebars works your upper body, and you can even pedal backwards to work muscles differently. 

4. Rowing Machine

When you work with a rowing machine, you don’t have to wonder about cardio vs strength training because you get both in one. Grab the handle at the front of the machine and pull your chest towards it to row your body upward and work your heart, arms, core, and legs. 

5. Stationary Bike

Working out on stationary bike

You don’t need to purchase a bicycle to get all the cardio benefits of biking, instead use the stationary bike at your gym. These provide all the same advantages, but more options than a regular bike, as you might choose to use an upright version, recumbent, or dual-action bike. 

Getting the Most From Your Cardio Workout

Cardiovascular health is important. Try out these cardio workouts the next time you hit the gym and get your heart pumping! 

Tips to Improve Your CrossFit Training Workouts

CrossFit training is an excellent way to introduce a bit of variety into your workout routine, ensuring all of your muscles are getting the exercise they need and even helping to prevent injuries. Looking to improve your CrossFit strength workout routine? We’ve got you covered, so feel free to take a look at a few of our tips.

Add Extra Variety

Though CrossFit training add variety to your routine in and of themselves, don’t be afraid to take it a step further. Don’t just stick to one or two exercises– go for a whole spectrum, including your all your favorite workouts like cycling, yoga, high-intensity interval training, and good old-fashioned weight training.

Set Defined Goals

Girl and boy working out

Like any exercise routine, it’s important to set goals for your CrossFit training workouts at gym sessions from week to week. Whether you’re looking to get in shape for a sporting event or just to be healthier in general, setting goals allows you to track your progress and stay motivated, so be sure that you’re always working towards a new objective.

Keep Track of Your Workouts

In addition to setting goals, whenever you go for a cross trainer workout, be sure to record the results afterward. The most important part of staying motivated to keep up with your routine is being able to see real, tangible results, and keeping a record of each of your workouts is one of the best ways to do so.

Use Proper Technique

Men crossfit rope exercises

To get the most out of your full crossfit body workout, you need to be sure to use proper technique in all of your exercises. Using proper technique not only allows you to get the most out of your workout, but prevents injuries as well. If you’re not sure whether or not you have good form for an exercise, don’t be afraid to ask a coach or fellow fitness enthusiast!

Listen to Your Body

Most importantly, always listen to what your body is telling you when you’re working out. Your body isn’t a nonstop workout machine, so try pre and post-workout stretches, rest days, and other recovery techniques to ensure your body can exercise to the best of its ability. If you’re giving your body the time it needs to heal, it’ll repay you in gains and progress, so don’t be afraid to listen to it!

Looking for more great fitness tips, techniques, and products? Visit us at NineFit today!

Top Yoga Poses for Men – Your Ultimate Guide

There are plenty of guys who don’t realize that yoga for men comes with tons of benefits. If you’re a guy who’s hesitant to walk into the yoga studio, let it be known that the male yoga body is one that can’t be beat.  Here, we’ll go over four yoga poses for men, why they’re great, and how to do them. 

1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

This pose is a challenge for even the fittest guy, because it trains the ankles, shoulders, quads, and glutes all at once. It’s one of the best yoga stretches for men because it builds stability and abdominal strength, too. 

How it’s done:
1. Stand at the top of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. 

2. As you inhale, lift your arms over your head. Exhale and bend your knees and lower your pelvis like you’re sitting in a chair. 

3. Bring your weight to your heels, keep your core engaged, and remember to breathe. 

2. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) 

Yoga Poses for men: Standing Forward Fold

The yoga benefits for men that coincide with the forward fold include improved blood circulation, stress relief, and a great muscle stretch. It also helps open the back body. It’s one of the best yoga poses for men who want to improve their digestion and relieve tension in their spine, neck, and back. 

How it’s done: 
1. Stand at the top of your mat and inhale with your arms over your head. 
2. Bend forward from the hips and let your head hang between your arms. 
3. Rest your torso over your thighs and extend your fingers towards the floor. 

3. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat pose is not one of the easy yoga poses for men, but it does come with its fair share of results. It works your deep core, hip flexors, and spine – and also aids with digestion and reduces tension in your pelvis. 

How it’s done:
1. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. 
2. Inhale and lift both legs off the mat. 
3. Lift your upper body off the mat and reach your arms up. 
4. Activate your core and keep your spine straight. 

4. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Yoga Poses for men : Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

The downward dog is one of the best yoga poses for the upper body and the lower body. The benefits come in the form of back, hips, calves, hamstrings, and shoulder strength. It calms the mind and provides the whole-body stretch you’re looking for when practicing yoga for men. 

How it’s done:
1. Begin in a tabletop position. 
2. Tuck your toes and lift your hips and back up. 
3. With your fingers pointed forward, come onto your toes and bend the knees to lift your hips up towards the sky.
4. With your back flat, straighten your legs to form an upside down shape of a V. 

Yoga for Men

Men doing meditation practice

Yoga is accessible for everyone. If you want to get your practice started, just invest in your own yoga wear for men and get on the mat to reap the benefits. 

5 Fitness Motivation Tips for Healthy Workouts

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but not everyone knows how to get motivated. Whether it’s men’s or women’s workout motivation, the truth of the matter is that fitness inspiration doesn’t come easily, no matter how great the benefits of staying active may be. We’re here to help, though, and provide the fitness motivation and you need to get moving and stay moving. Here are five fitness motivation tips you can use to get up off the couch and actually enjoy your workout.

1. Set Manageable Goals

Fitness motivation Tips

Setting goals is great workout motivation because there’s almost nothing better than achieving those goals. Just make sure you’re setting reasonable goals, because goals that are too lofty will only discourage you. 

And another thing, make sure your manageable goals have deadlines! Without deadlines, you’re more likely to push them off. 

2. Weave Workouts Into Your Schedule

Instead of forcing yourself into an exercise regimen that doesn’t suit you, incorporate that regimen into your already-existing schedule. Start by doing what’s doable and enjoyable – with just 15 minutes a day – and increase as time goes on. 

3. Emphasize Variety

Man doing exercise

A huge part of fitness motivation is trying out a myriad of different exercises. Not only is this good for your body, it’s good for your brain too – it keeps you on your toes in more than one way.

Plus, switching it up works well as you find out what activity really suits you. Here’s a hint: if you don’t like the workout you’re doing, you’re less likely to stick with it. 

4. Find a Community

Group of people doing exercise together

Whether your gym motivation stems from partnering with a good friend or joining a workout group, having a person (or people) to hold you accountable is a major player in keeping up with your fitness routine. 

5. Start Slow and Be Kind 

You might have all the gym motivation in the world when you start out, but it could die out over time. The key is to avoid going too hard and too fast right out of the gate. 

Instead, start slow and maintain your motivation for fitness over time. And, sometimes, if the motivation isn’t there, you have to go through the motions and wait for it to kick in – because it will. 

Getting Motivated and Staying Motivated

Woman giving fitness motivation tips

Whether you’re a guy looking for inspiration or a lady searching for fitness motivation tips for women, this advice is bound to get you to start moving – and stay moving! 

5 Reasons to Wear a Sports Bra for Your Workout

You don’t need to be a fitness guru to know that a good sports bra is a lifesaver. 

There are tons of options to choose from, from yoga bras to your favorite push up sports bra, but the truth of the matter is that your gym bra is more than a fashion statement. It actually comes with notable bodily benefits! 

To protect your body from long-term muscle pain and improve your workouts in general, you need a sports bra that puts in the work. 

Why Wear a Sports Bra?

A woman doing exercise wearing sports bra

Still not convinced? Take a look at these five reasons you should wear a sports bra top the next time you head to the gym. 

1. It Provides Support

There’s nothing more unpleasant than a high-intensity workout without the right chest support. Sports bras for women prevent the stretching and even tearing that can happen to the ligaments around the bust and, in the long run, you won’t experience premature sagging. 

2. Cuts Down on Movement 

Wearing your gym bra doesn’t just improve the long-term health of your breasts, it also improves your performance. For many, minimizing breast movement is a must for a productive workout, and a good sports bra makes that happen – all without squishing or causing you pain. 

3. It Regulates Your Temperature

Woman doing yoga wearing sports bra

These days, there are bras for women that do much more than hold you in place. They can also increase airflow to your skin and wick moisture which, in turn, regulates your temperature and makes for an all-around more enjoyable workout.

4. They Provide Storage 

If your yoga pants don’t have pockets, it’s likely that your yoga bras do. You’ll often find that sports bras are capable of holding small items like your phone, mp3 player, or your keys. Now you don’t need to carry a bag while you’re out running. 

5. They’re Comfortable 

Woman doing exercise

Whether you choose a black sports bra, a pink one, or a rainbow one, rest assured that it will make your workout more comfortable. These bras are designed with function in mind, which means that they’ve got coverage, wide straps, and flexibility of movement. When you wear it, you won’t experience chafing or rubbing that you might get while wearing an everyday bra during a workout. 

An Ultimate Workout Necessity 

Finding a sports bra that works for you can change your entire experience working out. After you try out your women’s sports bra in the gym, you’ll never want to exercise without it again.