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Fitness Tip of the Month: Squatting

By:  Sarah Llanos - Fit City Cross Fit

There is no movement more functional than squats. From senior citizen to toddler and everyone in between, we all squat. How many times a day do you use the toilet? Pick something off the floor? Grab a container from a bottom cabinet in the kitchen? Load the laundry into the front loader washing machine? Get in and out of a chair or the car? If you do any of these things daily, then you are already squatting. All day. Every day. So how can we ensure our independence as we age? How can we prevent injuries or falls? Training your body to squat properly is one huge step in the right direction. Squats help build strength in your legs, glutes and core along with burning fat, regulating hormones, and when done properly, reducing injury.

If you struggle with squatting it may be one of the following reasons:

  • Knee Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Difficulty balancing, fear of falling
  • Not enough strength

All of the above issues can be resolved with proper squat form and routine squatting

  • Feet under hips, hand extended for balance
  • Hips back and down. Knees out on the descent.
  • Feet flat, knees pushing out, chest tall. Hips below knees, if possible.
  • Stand up tall, belly tight.

Squatting should not cause pain or injury if done correctly. Faults to avoid:

  • Knees collapsing inward as you descend/ascend
  • Knees collapsing inward in bottom position
  • Heels rising off the ground
  • Rounded back


  1. Video yourself squatting. Does your squat look like the pictures above? Can you determine which fault may need to be addressed?
  2. Squat often, preferably daily.
  3. Stretch your hips.



How to Stay Fit while Traveling

By:  Sarah Llanos

You just got your rhythm of coming to the gym consistently. You’ve been hitting three to four times per week and feeling good. You know that when you are consistent in the gym, you make better food choices, creating a catalyst of positivity in your life. You have been able to balance work, family, responsibilities, nutrition and exercise. Right when you found your rhythm, you have an out of town trip scheduled. Is it work? Is it vacation with family or friends? All you know is this: you will not be able to get your workouts in for at least 3 or 4 days, maybe more. What is a healthy person to do?

Here are some tips for maintaining your workout routine while traveling:

• Join forces with a travel partner friend, family member or co-worker. Working out with someone keeps you accountable and bumps up the fun factor too! Commit to several days during your trip. Plan them into your schedule. Your body will thank you for it later.

• Utilize your unique environment. Visiting the mountains? Hill repeats, jumps on tree stumps or large boulders, handstand practice in the grass up or down the hills. The beach? Incorporate running and burpees in the sand. Does your hotel have a pool? Use the pool area for swimming laps, squats, and pushups.

• If you are staying at a hotel with a gym, get creative! It’s ok to do the things you enjoy. Feel like doing bicep curls? DO IT! Feel like spending 20 minutes on the elliptical? DO IT!! Feel like writing your own combination of movements and completing as much as you can in a given time? DO IT!!!

Our Coaches' and Members' Favorite Creative Workouts While Traveling

Below are some creative workouts our coaches and members have done while on vacation or traveling for work. If you would like personal coaching to learn how to execute these movements and many more, safely and effectively, either on your own or in our gym, contact us for a “No Sweat Intro”. Enjoy!

• 400m Run (Treadmill), 20 Pushups, 20 Sit-ups        3 Rounds AFAP (As Fast As Possible)

• Deck Of Cards (Diamond-Sit-ups, Spades-Pushups, Hearts-Squats, Clubs-Lunges, Joker-5 Burpees) Complete number of reps for each movement depending on card. Face cards equal ten reps. Ace is either 1 rep or 11 reps. Ex: Jack of Hearts= 10 Squats *20 minute time cut off if necessary

• 60 Burpee Box Jumps AFAP

• 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 KB Swings, 20 Jump rope AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)


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Four Simple Ways to Keep Your Child Active Even With Your Busy Schedule

By:  Sarah Llanos - FitCity Cross Fit

Gather a group of children together with no electronics and what will happen? Within a very short period of time, a game of tag or soccer or cartwheel “competitions” will ensue.  Children love to play.  When I was a child, one of my favorite aspects of summer was the hours upon hours of playing outside. Maybe it was an impromptu game of dodgeball or climbing around on a neighbor’s swing set or riding bikes to nowhere in particular but my brother and I couldn’t wait to get outside and play. All day long.

These days I am a busy mom rushing from one place to the next, particularly after school. I know I am not alone. However, parents, we must make fitness a priority for ourselves and our children. Research has shown physical activity promotes the following benefits:

·         Strong muscles and bones

·         Weight control

·         Increase in academic motivation

·         Decrease risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes

·         Quality sleep

·         Builds confidence and self esteem

·         Creates lifelong healthy habits

As parents, we crave these things for our children. We want them to be healthy and successful in school and life. How can we juggle the barrage of responsibilities we face daily while ensuring our children are getting at least thirty minutes of physical activity daily? Here are four simple ways to work around your busy schedule and keep your child active:

1.       With your child’s guidance, write a list of activities/games/exercises he/she likes to do.  Be prepared to make suggestions.  Maybe even research some ideas together online.

2.       Set aside at least 30 minutes of active play time each day. Does it work better for your schedule to do it before or after school? Pick a time and schedule it in your day like a meeting.

3.       If you can’t find 30 consecutive minutes, split it up! 10 minute active homework break of running around outside or as many burpees as possible in 5 minutes, divides the thirty minutes into more manageable chunks of time.

4.       If your child is off to an after school activity, to save time, your child can eat his/her after school snack in the car. Pack an extra snack in your child’s lunchbox OR bring a snack with you in the car for pick up. Be sure to grab an extra bottle of water as well.

As your school aged child gets older, it is likely their interests will change. Embrace this need for change.  Remember, enjoying an activity will encourage its success. The simple recommendations above will continue to serve as a guide for children of all ages to keep fit and active. 

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