Tag Archives: workout

Fit Mama

October 28, 2014 by
Photography by Sara Lemke

Mothers of newborns can feel overjoyed and overwhelmed; beautiful and bountiful at the same time. Working to get your figure back, or even just to lose a few pounds, is something that most moms are looking to do as soon as possible.

But getting into a routine of going to the gym and finding someone to watch the baby on a regular basis can be challenging. Some of us may not be comfortable leaving our newborn with a gym daycare. Working out at home is fine, but really…wouldn’t it be nice to be around women going through the same experiences?

Problem solved: Introducing Fit Mama Workouts. Launched in May by Liz Sampson, these boot camp-style classes range in intensity and target moms of all ages and fitness levels. “Basically, we cater to what works best with each mom and the kids that they bring with them,” explains Sampson.

Sampson strives to bring a wide variety of options to both the women who attend her classes and the children who accompany them. “The moms do their workout and we just kind of build the kids into the routine,” Sampson says. “They play with their friends and there are other activities that we bring—bubbles, colors, and sidewalk chalk.”

The children can also exercise alongside mom if they want. “There are a lot of times when the moms will be out on the mats and the kids will be part of it too.” The children in strollers are a captive audience, as the moms push the strollers while running and participating in circuit training.  “The kids witness their moms working out and see the positive example of it. It gets into their heads, at an early age, that exercise is a fun and positive thing.”

As a licensed group fitness instructor certified in perinatal and postnatal exercise, Sampson even encourages pregnant women to join in. “I know modifications that would be suitable for pregnant women and women who have just had babies.”

During this summer, classes were held at two different outdoor venues—Zorinsky Lake Park near 156th and F streets, and Lawrence Youngman Lake near 192th Street and West Dodge Road. Oak View Mall provided the indoor location, where the ladies meet in front of J.C. Penney on the lower level. With the fall season, outdoor workouts will be moving inside. That location has yet to be determined.

“It’s a non-intimidating workout atmosphere because we’re all moms and we’re all there to encourage each other,” she says. She also wants people to know that they will be getting a real workout. “We’ve had new moms with brand new babies; some of the girls will go run a
lap and some of the girls will walk it…we cater to everyone.”

Sampson says that not only have her clients lost weight, but they have found friendships as well. “I’ve seen women who didn’t know each other at all, and over the months, they became great workout friends; and their kids have become great friends.”


Double-Duty Scissors

June 22, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This simple workout is based on a classic scissors move, but is modified here to extend the exercise’s benefits to upper-body elements of the arms, abs, and obliques.

  1. Lie on your left side with legs stacked and left elbow down.
  2. Use your left hand to support your head. Position your right palm flat on the floor at chest level.


  3. Push off the floor with your right hand to lift your upper body while simultaneously raising your right leg as high as possible.



  4. Return to your original position and do a total of 12 reps.
  5. Reverse position to lie on your right side and repeat with the same 12 reps.
  6. Cycle through three sets of this fat-burning workout.

Parenting on the Run

June 6, 2014 by

Personal trainers, gym time, yoga classes, and top-notch workout facilities are all wonderful. But for many on-the-go parents, those types of sometimes time-consuming fitness outings are as feasible as a weekend trip to Cabo.

Heck, maybe all that running around of parenthood is all you need to be fit.
Not likely, though, says Tim Kruger, manager of Peak Performance Omaha. But, he says, parents need not surrender in the battle of the bulge. They just need to go Old School.

Got 20 minutes somewhere in between the school play and the baseball practice? Throw on the shorts, T-shirts and trainers, and go for a jog.

Kruger makes his case for arguably the oldest and most time-tested exercise technique in human history–running. It’s cheap, he says. It’s available 24/7. It only takes a few minutes to get out of work clothes and on the road.

The solitude can be therapeutic for a parent overwhelmed by work and kid time. That nice rush of endorphins, that calm that comes when you’ve gassed your muscles. A jog can take the edge off the frenzy of a parent’s schedule.

Getting Started:

  • Set a goal (from as simple as being able to run for 30 minutes or something more ambitious such as completing a half-marathon) to keep motivation up.
  • Research several different training programs to understand what will bring the goal into reach.
  • Get a good pair of shoes that fit. If your shoes don’t work for you, you’re much more likely to quit.
  • Don’t try to be a superstar. Start out slowly to avoid injury and to give yourself a chance to really enjoy your jogs.

Once You’ve Hit the Road:

  • Always start with several minutes of warm-up. Do some light movement followed by slow and consistent stretching that focuses on leg muscle groups such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
  • If you get bored running alone—and time allows—you may want to find a running partner or running club to stay motivated and accountable (and maybe even have an adult conversation!).
  • Always dress for the weather with moisture-wicking fabrics (Nike’s Dri-FIT, for example) and use layers that you can unzip or remove as needed.
  • Hydrate properly before, after, and during (if possible) each run.
  • Spend the same amount of time cooling down and stretching as you did warming up to avoid injury.
  • Always plan for at least one rest day per week.

Some Great Places to Run in or Near Omaha:

  • The local school track. If you have bad knees, the rubber surfaces on many tracks may make running more pleasant for you.
  • Any of the increasing number of Omaha trails. Hitting a trail may not be possible every day, but mixing in a trail run every week or two can keep your regimen fresh. Get more information at
  • omahatrails.com.
  • Take on one of the region’s great runs, the Wabash Trail beginning in Council Bluffs.

For more information, or to meet with Tim or another Peak Performance running expert, visit Peak Performance at www.run2peak.com.

5-Minute Workout
: Total Body

February 21, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This exercise is all about the whole body working together to strengthen core stability and balance. Keep flow in mind: Breathe with the movements and keep your body fluid. That means no locked knees and a strong back that doesn’t sag.



  1. Stand upright with feet together. To keep your inner thighs tight and engaged, place a rolled up hand towel between them. Remove it but keep your thighs tight as though they were still holding the towel in place.
  2. Place a band under one foot and hold an end in each hand.20131030_bs_8260_CLIPPING
  3. Bring the “banded” foot up so the knee is at 90 degrees.
  4. Extend your raised leg out behind you, reaching your arms forward.20131030_bs_8276_CLIP
  5. Return to your starting position.
  6. Kick the same leg forward in front of the body, as straight as you can, while curling your biceps.20131030_bs_8272_CLIP
  7. Continue steps 1-6 for 5-10 reps, alternating legs. Strive for flowing, synchronized movements.

Cindy Cook of Legacy Pilates, Yoga & More find them at mindbodyprograms.com


Patique Collins Finds the Right Fit

January 28, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In 2011 Patique Collins left a two-decade corporate career to open a fitness business. Two-and-a-half years later her Right Fit gym on West Maple Road jumps with clients.

This former model, who’s emceed events and trained celebrities (Usher and LL Cool J), now seeks to franchise her business, produce workout videos, and be a mind-body fitness speaker with a national reach.

Under her watchful eye and upbeat instruction, members do various aerobic and anaerobic exercises, kickboxing and Zumba included, all to pulsating music, sometimes supplied by DJ Mista Soul. She helps clients tone their bodies and build cardio, strength, and flexibility.

The sculpted Omaha native is a longtime fitness convert. Nine years ago she added weight training to her running regimen and got serious about nutrition. She’d seen too many loved ones suffer health problems due to poor diet and little exercise. The raw vegan describes her own workouts as “intense” and “extreme.”

And she pushes clients hard.

“I really want to help every single person that comes in reach their maximum potential, and that is a big responsibility,” she says. “If you don’t give up on you, I won’t. I will do whatever I can to help you earn your goals if you’re ready to.”

Collins has even been known to show up at your workplace if you skip class. “There’s accountability here at Right Fit. I’m very passionate about my clients.”


She believes the relationships she builds with clients keeps them coming back. “People will tend to stay if you develop a relationship and work towards results.” Her gym, like her Facebook page, is filled with affirmations about following dreams, being persistent, and never quitting.

“I think positivity is a part of my DNA,” says the woman who sometimes dresses as a superhero for workouts.

A huge influence in her life was her late maternal grandmother, Faye Jackson, who raised her after Collins and her siblings were thrown into the foster care system. “My grandmother told me I could be whatever I wanted to be and made me believe it.” Collins went on to attain multiple college degrees.

Motivated to help others, she made human resources her career. She and her then-husband Anthony Collins 
formed the Nothing But Net Foundation to assist at-risk youth. While working as a SilverStone Group senior consultant and as Human Resources Recruitment Administrator for the Omaha Public Schools, she began “testing the waters” as a trainer by conducting weekend boot camps.

Stepping out from the corporate arena to open her own gym took a leap of faith for this single mother of two small children.

“This is a lot of work. I am truly a one-woman show,” she says. “Sometimes that can be challenging.” Right Fit is her living, but she works hard at maintaining the right balance, where family and faith are top priorities.

She’s proud to be a successful female African-American small business owner and humbled by awards she’s received for her business and community achievements. Collins believes opportunities continue coming her way because of her genuine spirit.

“There’s some things you can’t fake, and being authentic is one of them,” she says. “I’m doing what I want to do. I think it’s my ministry. Everybody has their gifts, and this is mine. I’m able to influence people not just physically but mentally.”

Read more of Leo Adam Biga’s work at leoadambiga.wordpress.com.

5-Minute Workout:
 Bicep Curls with a Band

January 1, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Bicep curls are a great routine for building the upper body strength necessary for everyday lifting. An added bonus? They also help fight against the muscle degeneration that can be a byproduct of too much inactivity. Combine this exercise with the five-minute band walk for a simple routine with a band.



  1. Stand on the band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ends of the band at your hips.
  2. Keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides, curl your forearms to your shoulders. Return to starting position.
  3. Do up to 10 repetitions of three sets (30 reps) with a 30-second break between each set.

Zander Koch is owner of Zander’s Personal Training. For more information www.zanderspersonaltraining.com.


5-Minute Workout: 
Counter Pushups

November 24, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Have a few minutes in the kitchen to tone your chest, triceps, and core? Great! All you need is a counter for this exercise (or, if you’re at your office, you can use the edge of your desk).

Setup & Starting Position

Put hands on a counter shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet back until your weight can shift to your toes and your shoulders are directly above your hands. You want a straight body line from your heels to your shoulders.



  1. While keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower your body as far as you can, bringing your chest toward your hands. (Make sure your abs are tight!)
  2. Once you are all the way down, press away from the counter back to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for 3 sets of 15-20 pushups.


Sarah Egan, BS, CPT, HKC, CES, is the Personal Training Department Head with Nebraska Elite Sports & Fitness Complex. For more information, visit 2b-elite.com.

5-Minute Workout: 
Band Walk

November 9, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Similar to the “Rockers” exercise, this workout tones the lower half—specifically inner and outer thighs and glutes. A resistance band will be needed for this exercise.

Setup & Starting Position

1. While holding the handles of the band, step on it with both feet so that it goes below the arches of your feet.



1. Moving in a straight line, stride out to one side as far as you can.


2. Bring feet back together.


3. Continue strides until you have traveled about 15 feet, then reverse strides, moving the same distance in the opposite direction.

4. Repeat both ways two times.

Sarah Egan, BS, CPT, HKC, CES, is the Personal Training Department Head with Nebraska Elite Sports & Fitness Complex. For more information, visit 2b-elite.com.

5-Minute Workout: Rockers

September 24, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

If you’re looking to tone your lower half, Rockers are great for targeting the inner and outer thighs, as well as the glutes. No weights are necessary for this exercise; however, if you would like more resistance, use a free weight around 10-15 lbs.

Setup & Starting Position

  1. While standing, spread your legs apart as wide as possible (if you use a weight, hold it close to your chest).20130819_bs_0992_2
  2. Sink into a low squat position, keeping your butt tucked down.


  1. Shift your body weight back and forth from the right leg to the left leg.
    20130819_bs_0997_2 20130819_bs_0999_2
  2. Repeat for 3 sets of 12.

Tip: If the exercise seems easy, try stepping your stance out a little farther.

Sarah Egan, BS, CPT, HKC, CES, is the Personal Training Department Head with Nebraska Elite Sports & Fitness Complex. For more information, visit 2b-elite.com.

5-Minute Workout: The Plank

May 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Quite possibly the most important and beneficial exercise that we can do is the plank. This exercise is good for core stability and, if done correctly, will make every other exercise you do better. Planks teach you how to actively engage your core at all times, whether you’re carrying groceries or babies, walking up the stairs, or even sitting correctly. This will help alleviate lower back pain while making daily tasks easier and safer.

Setup & Starting Position:

  1. Brace your core as strong as you can (imagine you’re anticipating the impact of a punch in the stomach) and distribute your weight evenly between your arms and toes.
  2. If you can’t hold this position, you can also do this exercise with your forearms on the floor. Just make sure your elbows don’t move on the floor.


  1. Hold either position for 30 seconds. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes as you hold.
  2. Add time to the position hold or try doing the exercise with your arms fully extended as the exercise gets easier.
Plank position

Plank position

Plank position from forearms

Plank position from forearms

Tip: The entire time you are doing this exercise, your core should be activated as much as possible. If you’ve heard someone in the past say, “Try and pull your belly button into your spine,” do not follow that advice. This makes it almost impossible to make your core as strong as possible.

Erik Bird is a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness and is ACE-CPT, NASM-CPT-CES-PES, HKC Kettlebell certified. For more information, visit lifetimefitness.com.