April Exercise of the Month

Swiss Ball Hamstring Roll-In are the Exercise for April!

This exercise targets the hamstrings and glutes.

1. Begin by lying on your back and placing your feet on a stability ball.

2. Engaging your core too keep your spine stable, press through your heels and lift your hips off the floor. 


3. Keep your hips off the floor while bending your knees to draw the ball in.

4. Hold briefly then straighten your legs. 

5.  Keep your hips off the ground during the whole set.

Jeremiah's Expert Trainer Tip:
Flex your feet (point the toes toward your torso) to further fire the muscles in the backs of your legs.

Walk Hard, Walk Easy, Repeat

Find the idea of just jumping into a HIIT class intimidating? 

The New York Times says you can get many of the benefits of interval training without being unnerved by the high intensity workouts that many are flocking to.
Check out this great article from the NYT Health and Wellness Blog:

March Exercise of the Month

The Overhead Press with Wall Sit is March's Exercise of the Month

This exercise which challenges the lower and upper body is a great time saver when looking to maximize strength work in a short amount of time.

1. With a neutral spine (the back in its natural curve), sit against the wall so your thighs form a 90 degree angle with the floor

2. Start with dumbbells at shoulder height and try to keep your elbows against the wall


3. Your arms should maintain light contact with the wall as you press directly overhead

4. Control the movement as you bring the dumbbells back to the starting position

Sheri's Expert Trainer Tip: Start with 10-12 reps and then increase the rep total over time. The longer you do your wall sit, the more challenging this exercise is for your legs!

Optimizing Back Health With The Kettlebell Swing

Check out this great article about the strength building potential of the basic (NOT OVERHEAD!) kettlebell  swing: Back Health with Swing

RESCHEDULED Fit-Inspirations at Brodie on 2/17

Due to the snow day, we are rescheduling our Fit-Inspirations Night!
Bring out your INNER CHILD and write on the walls on Tuesday, March 3rd.
Join Duke Fitness for Fit-Inspirations at Brodie Gym.

Participants are encouraged to share positive feelings about their bodies in the Brodie Group Fitness Studio.

Celebrate YOU with Duke Student Health and Duke Rec and PE!

Small Group Training Abounds after Spring Break

Duke Personal Training is offering a wide variety of small group training this spring. Register early for these classes my contacting Mary Ann.

Traditional Boot Camp – out doors in the evenings in K-Ville

Girl Power – advanced weight training techniques for women in Wilson gym

TRX Boot Camps – Suspension training in Wilson gym

Small Group Pilates Training – Training on Pilates Equipment in the Mind/Body Studio at Brodie http://recreation.duke.edu/recreation/personal-training/private-pilates-training/

Try something NEW this spring with Duke Personal Training!


The Barbell Squat is February's Exercise of the Month!

Step 1 - PREP
Position barbell on rack at upper chest height. Step in front of bar and place it high on back of shoulders and grasp barbell to sides. Remove bar from rack, step back and stand with shoulder width stance.
Bend knees while allowing hips to bend back behind, keeping back straight and knees pointed same direction as feet. Descend until thighs are just about parallel to floor.
Return to standing by extending knees and hips until legs are straight. 

  • Knees should track in a straight line, don't let them buckle in as you press up
  • Keep back straight and focus on having an open chest
  • Both feet should maintain contact with the floor throughout the range of motion, don't come up on toes

Try Pilates on Equipment this Spring

Love Pilates? Interested in going to the next level? Try Pilates on Equipment with Duke Personal Training.

The Difference between Private Pilates Training and Mat Pilates Class

  • One on One. Your instructor checks your form and caters the session to your goals.
  • The Equipment:
    Wunda Chair at Duke
    • The Reformer - a moving spring-loaded platform that facilities core training.  Exercises are done lying, sitting, kneeling, standing, and jumping.
    • The Wall Tower – a spring-based apparatus with strategically placed hooks that provide different levels of tension and a push through bar that helps you isolate articulation of the spine.
    • The Wunda Chair – a box and pedal unit that connects you deep into your powerhouse and requires the use of strength, centering, balance and control to perform each exercise.
  • Privacy. You’ll be behind closed doors in the peaceful Mind/Body Studio inside Brodie Gym on East Campus
Sign up for a private session on our webpage.
We are offering a small group Pilates on Equipment this spring, there are still two spaces in the M/Th Evening Class which starts on 1/26. Contact Mary Ann to sign up today.

Exercise of the Month - Single Leg Squat

The Exercise for January is the Single Leg Squat

This functional lower body exercise can be modified as your glute strength and hip flexibility improve.

Balance on one leg with opposite leg extended behind you.

Extending your arms in front, squat down as far as possible while keeping back leg elevated off of floor.

Keep back straight and supporting knee pointed same direction as foot.

Raise body back up to original position until your supporting knee and hip are straight.

Complete your desired rep range before switching legs.

Align your knee above your working ankle and try not to slide forward onto your toes.

Advanced Moves:

Stand on a Plyo Box and extend leg forward instead of back.


Or try a PISTOL Squat by extending your leg in front of you and lowering down. One great way to become proficient at this challenging exercise is to anchor yourself with a railing or a door frame.

Eileen's expert trainer tip:
Use a mirror to assure your hips are even, your knees is tracking properly and your back maintains a neutral curve.

Improve Your Flexibility and Energize Your Body!

Stretching is a hotly debated topic in the fitness industry, but most people agree that stretching after an exercise bout is a positive way to wind down and recover. 

And some studies show that flexibility training is an essential part of a healthy fitness routine.
To improve flexibility through static stretching:
1. Warm up your body either with a full workout or with 5-10 minutes if light cardio
2. Stretch to the point of mild discomfort, not to pain 
3. Hold each pose for about 30 seconds
4. Repeat each stretch 2-4 times
Stretching should be done at least 2-3 times per week, but much greater gains are achieved through daily stretching.
Below is a simple list of starter stretches. 

Healthy Holiday Tips!

We know it is hard to "outexercise" poor eating habits, so it is good to employee some tricks to help keep on track. 

Here is a fun infographic from the Cleveland Clinic with tips like: "Never go to a party hungry" and "focus on socializing, not food."

The Duke Fitness Team wishes you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!

Join OA for an AMAZING Winter Break Trip

Need a A Little Adventure this Holiday Season?
Spend your winter break with the Rec and PE Outdoor Adventures team canoeing along the Colorado River or celebrate New Year’s eve atop a mountain resort skiing and snowboarding in Snowshoe, WV.

Canoeing the Colorado

Dates: December 15th - 19th

Price: $395 (does not include airfare to Las Vegas)

Join us as we paddle along the border of Nevada and Arizona. We'll paddle on the Colorado River all the way up to the Hoover Dam, camping along the way!

Trip fee includes food while on the trip, transportation to and from the river, equipment and access fees.

Skiing and Snowboarding West Virginia

Dates: December 31st - January 4th

Price: $575

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Outdoor Adventures atop a beautiful mountain resort on Snowshoe Mountain. We'll spend our days skiing and snowboarding the infamous runs and then cozy up in our massive mountain home. Trip fee includes transportation, food while on the trip, lift tickets and lodging.

Resgistration deadline extended to 12/10!
If you have any questions please contact Chris

Try Small Group Pilates on Equipment this Spring!

Pilates Crystal cutNEW in 2015! Small Group Pilates Classes with Crystal
Enjoy small group Pilates on Equipment at less than half the cost of a private session!
Two class times:
7 AM Monday/Wednesday starting Weds 1/21 thru 2/23
6 PM Monday/ Thursday starting 1/26 thru 2/26

10 sessions, 5 weeks, $250

Small group of 3-4 people in the Mind/Body Studio at Brodie

If you have a small group of 3-4 of your own, we can make a class just for you!
Contact Mary Ann at mdobbins@duaa.duke.edu to register for either class.
Hurry space is limited!

December's Exercise of the Month

Plank with Triceps Kickback is December's Exercise of the Month
Master trainer Sheri Branson notes that this combo exercise is a nice twist on both the classic plank and triceps kickback. 

1. To complete the exercise, start in a hand plank position with grounded hand just inside your shoulder.

2. Staying in a neutral plank position, lift the dumbbell while locking your upper arm to the outside of your rib cage. 

3. Then kick the dumbbell back until  your working  arm is straight. 
You will be moving from the elbow, not the shoulder.

Complete 8-15 reps on each side.

  - Your obliques should be firing to keep you from rolling to one side
  - Keep your shoulder and upper arm immobile throughout the kickback

Sheri's Expert Trainer tip:

Keep shoulders squared off to floor by tightening your glutes and your abs.

Second Annual Duke COMBINE 11/8

Congratualtions to all the competitors in this year's Duke COMBINE!


Winners were chosen from six categories:
Male Undergraduate – John Lindley
Female Undergraduate – Leah Ling
Male Graduate  – Sidney McLaurin
Female Graduate – Allie McClure
Male Employee (spouse) – Kevin McLeod
Female Employee – Lisa Wright