Tennis Exercises

Down here in the Golden Isles, there is no shortage of great places to play tennis! Today I have some great exercises for you to utilize so you can win a few more matches and improve your rating.

3 keys to success in tennis are footwork, core strength, and grip strength. Here are 7 great exercises to maximize your game.

Foot work is all about getting to the ball so you can execute your shot!

Create a 3 Cone Pyramid, we will focus on quick movements from the baseline to midcourt, and back to baseline. Be sure to pick a focal point and keep your eye on it just like you would a tennis ball. When you reach a cone, stop and get in a tennis ready position. Do not run backwards, turn your hips and move quickly to the back cones to get in a set shot position. Set a timer for 10 seconds and continue to move forward and back in a pyramid shape as quickly as possible. Do 4 total sets.

Toss & Catch is a great partner exercise. Set a small area up with your cones and have your partner toss the ball to you. Move quickly and catch the ball, toss it back, and return to your starting position in a tennis ready stance. You can even make a game out of it and see if your partner can get two bounces in before you get to the ball. Do 15 tosses and switch up positions.

A strong core is vital to any sport. Here are 3 exercises to give you a stronger back and better rotation on your swing.

The traditional sit up and abdominal crunch have us flex at the spine. Since we don’t walk around in a hunched over position I’ve changed up the movement to a Solid Spine Sit Up. This keeps an erect spine through the entire movement. Getting in a traditional sit up position with your feet anchored, keep your head up and your back tight. Lean back as far as you feel comfortable and return to the starting position. Keep your head up through the entire movement, this will automatically keep your back tight. You’ll also feel this in your lower back, that’s okay! It’s working your back too! Begin with 10 repetitions and workout your way up from there.

Using an exercise band anchored to a solid area, we will do Forward/Backhand Twists. Setting up just like we would for a shot, we’ll keep the band tight through the entire movement. Explode as you would with your shot and control and tension as you return to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions and move to the other side to do backhands for another 10 repetitions.

One final movement is the Medicine Ball Lunge. This is a great shoulder, core, and leg movement! Begin with a medicine ball held overhead, step forward with your right foot into a lunge position, and bring the ball across your body parallel with the floor. Drive up with your leg and return to the starting position. You can do 8 repetitions on one side, or alternate right and left for a total of 8 repetitions on each side. Always make sure you step far enough out with a lunge movement to your front leg’s knee does not go past your front toe.

A strong grip on your racket, especially late in a match, can make the difference between winning deuce and dropping a tight set. Here are two great strength exercises to ensure power and grip strength.

Using a hand towel woven around a barbell or into a plate, we’ll perform a Bent Over Row. Bending at the hips and using a bench to stabilize, we grab a hold of the towel, drive our elbow back, and bring our hand into our shoulder. With control, return your arm to the starting position. You can use a moderately heavy weight and perform 8 to 12 repetitions. As you gain strength, increase weight while decreasing repetitions until you can perform 6 to 8 with excellent form. Do 3 to 4 sets on each arm.

A Single Arm Bench Press is a great chest, core, and grip workout. Since you can only use one arm, it forces each arm to work on its own while making your abdomen tighten to stay balanced. Just like the bent over row, begin with 8 to 12 repetitions. As you gain strength increase weight while decreasing the number of repetitions. Maximize this movement with 6 to 8 reps performed in 3 to 4 sets.

These are just a few great exercises you can use today to super charge your tennis game! If you would like to set up a tennis strength and conditioning program, call me at 912-602-5732 and we can get you set up for your exclusively private training session at Live Oak Fitness!

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

GridIron Workout

If you’re a weekend warrior who loves lace up the cleats, dust off the old mit, hit the hardwoods, or enjoys the smell of a freshly cracked can of tennis balls then I have a great workout for you! If you spend your weekend in good competition I know you have a burning desire to perform at a high level in whatever form that competition takes.

Here’s a great series of exercises you can perform just about anywhere that will help you maximize your ability and minimize your time in the ice bath. Since it’s fall, we’re going to call this the GridIron Workout!

You can perform this workout on a football field, softball field, soccer field, or in the studio. The key is to maximize you’re running intensity as well as the number of repetitions to perform for each exercise.

For simplification, we’ll use a 100 yard football field in our example and do 15 repetitions of each exercise. You will need a timer for the running.

Our exercises are:

  1. Push Ups
  2. Squat Jump
  3. Sit Up
  4. Jumping Jacks
  5. Burpee
  6. Swimmers
  7. Split Jump
  8. Hindu PU
  9. High Knees
  10. Side Skater

Begin at the goal line and decide how fast you can run to the 100 yard line. In this example we’ll give ourselves 60 seconds to run from goal line to goal line. If we estimate it will take 40 seconds to run 100 yards, a timer of 60 seconds will give us 20 seconds to rest before we begin the exercises.

As soon as our 60 second timer goes off we begin the first exercise, 15 push ups. We will also go against the clock in our exercises and if we complete all 15 repetitions before the timer goes off we can rest. As soon as the time goes off we race to the other goal line. We continue this pattern of running, rest, exercise, rest, running until we have complete all 10 exercises.

This is a great 20 minute workout that will really get your heart rate up and push you. If you’re preparing for flag football, soccer, or basketball this is a great workout that will simulate a half of the competition.

I love this workout and it’s a go-to for me when I’m traveling or preparing for a season! Many athletes tire in the last few minutes of a game, but this workout will give you the endurance and power to make that final play for the win!

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

Quick Home Workout

Life’s fast. I mean really fast! In the spirit of better health and wellness I have designed some workouts for you to do anywhere, anytime to get your body moving! So, lets get right to it!

The first workout in our series is designed to keep you moving, burn calories, and gain strength!

You’ll need:

  • Chair
  • 5×5 open area to move
  • Water
  • Jump Rope (optional)

We will do all five exercises one after another and do a total of three sets of each exercise.

  1. Speed Rope (with or without a rope) or Calf Raises for 60 seconds
  2. Seated Squats (with or without a chair) 15 reps
  3. Incline Push Up 15 reps
  4. Seated Knee Lifts 20 reps
  5. Skaters 10 reps on each leg

After we finish a set of Skaters, we will rest for 60 seconds before stating our next set. We want to do each exercise with proper form as quickly as we can before moving to the next exercise.

Here are some keys to watch for on each exercise:

  • If you hate jump rope, or are new to skipping rope, you can do ankle hops. If you have hip, knee, or ankle pain you can do calf raises for 60 seconds. Always remember, you can work through soreness, but never pain.
  • When performing any squat exercise, always keep your weight on your heels and bend at the hips first. Feet should be shoulder width apart.
  • Push ups are just as much a core exercise as any sit up. Keep your stomach tight through the whole movement.
  • You can use a chair or mat to perform the seated knee lift. Keep your back tight and minimize spinal flexion while bringing your knees into your chest.
  • Skaters are a great high intensity exercise that’s awesome for your legs and hips. Drive off your plant foot and explode over to your opposite foot. As you gain strength and coordination with the exercise you’ll be able to generate more power.

This is a perfect workout to do if you are traveling and the hotel gym is lacking in equipment. You can also do this workout outside while the kids are at ball practice!

Drink lots of water, enjoy great and healthy food, and take time to encourage someone today. You will not only lift that individual up, but you’ll feel better too by a simple act.

Have a great day!

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

Easy for You

A good beginning makes a good ending. If accompanied by a very good middle. -Bobby Knight

We are four weeks into our 2015 Spring Meltdown and have had some wonderful results so far! Currently we have dropped 135.4 pounds in the contest and we are closing in on the 151 pounds our team lost in the 2014 Fall Fitness Frenzy.

Now we move into the most challenging part of the entire process: the middle. The starting gun has sounded, the first few meters of the race has started, and everyone is settling into their pace. The middle is where we are all truly tested. This holds true in any part of our lives whether it is a weight loss contest, a renovation project, a book, or a marriage.

From the outside perspective, it’s always easier for someone else to get through the middle and have success. When we view other people’s success we too often tell ourselves:

“Everyone has it easier than I do. There is no way we could ever accomplish anything like that.”

Here is a quick list of the reasons everyone else has it easy:

-They’re younger -They don’t have kids -I stay at home, they work
-They’re retired -Their kids encourage them -I work, they don’t
-They have more time -Their spouse is on board -They live closer
-It comes naturally to them -They’re not married -They make a trip out of it

I’m sure we could add some additional lines, but I’m also sure that you (like me) have used a few of these before.

But here’s the thing.  We all have a reason not to be successful from challenges we face each and everyday. Those who are successful did not have it any easier than you or I, and they certainly faced their share of challenges and bumps along the way. What made them successful was how they handled those challenges and bumps during the middle of the process.

As stated, the starting gun is always exciting and gives us a huge rush of adrenaline and encouragement. We have decided to start a journey, one which has the promise to change our lives and improve ourselves. We find time to do the little things that give us the most success as well as a little extra here and there because we are so excited!

Then one of those reasons above comes calling. Our job demands more of us. A change happens in our daily routine. We find it’s really hard to create a new habit and remove the old one. That reason becomes an excuse.

That is what the middle really gives us. An excuse. And your excuse is probably a very valid one, and one that potentially creates a huge upheaval in your life. But let’s fight the excuse. Let’s begin to differentiate an excuse from a reason.

2015-02-19 08.28.31Google defines a reason as “a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action.”

Whereas an excuse is defined as “an attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.”

Simply put, an excuse is something you have when you are unable to justify your reason.

By shifting our vocabulary and our mindset, we can turn an excuse into a reason.

Excuse: I’m up in weight because I didn’t have time to drink my water this weekend. We were out with friends on the boat and they hate water! So all I had to drink was beer…

Reason: I didn’t prepare bottled water ahead of time when we went out on the boat and our friends didn’t pack any. I’ll know next time to always pack water with me.

Excuse: We were asked out to dinner by some clients and couldn’t say no. They had to try Barbara Jean’s and they only eat fried food and they bought us drinks…

Reason: We entertained some clients and they decided on Barbara Jean’s. I ordered a salad and grilled salmon with water.

Excuse: We had a girls trip and there was no way I could say no. I didn’t want to be a drag the whole trip…

Reason: We had a great girls trip this weekend! I did enjoy one drink a night with them, but I drank my water all weekend, and got them really excited about my lifestyle change too! They said I look great!

Excuse: I didn’t want to come in and weigh because I know I’m up…

Reason: I need the accountability, even though it was a challenging week.

During the next few week, I want you to find a reason for success! No excuses! Excuses only create blame and shame. With a reason for a difficult week we can empathize and help refocus.

I want you to be the person everyone else talks about having it so easy. We know it’s not easy and we can begin to help others work through their challenges with our success.

Why is it easy for you? Because you have a reason!


Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

6 Months!

Thank you!

As I left the studio on Wednesday after another great day I realized that it was September 17, six months to the day that I launched Live Oak Fitness!PicsHeader

I’m looking forward to another amazing six months as we celebrate our one year anniversary on March 17, 2015. The mission of Live Oak Fitness is to help people live better lives, and my goal is that through stronger bodies and better health we can continue to make this possible.

IMG_53502 years ago, Cassie and I were sitting on the beach in the Bahamas. We were enjoying the first day of our vacation and were looking forward to a wonderful week. Our family had grown to three beautiful children, Cassie had a wonderful job at Lumpkin Elementary School, and I loved every day I got to go to work and change peoples lives. As we talked with the ocean in the background, she asked me what would I do if she just so happened to get a job in Glynn County. I thought about different ideas and careers, but I continued coming back to opening a private training studio on St. Simons Island.

This is one place where Live Oak Fitness started. It is amazing how moments in your life, sometimes small, make such an impact down the road.

Thank you for being a part of the Live Oak Fitness story. Each day I wake up excited to see who is scheduled for a session and who I get to pour into that day. I’m excited to see our amazing growth and the success we have enjoyed with our first Fall Fitness Frenzy. I have many more plans for Live Oak Fitness as we grow, and I’m most excited that you get to be part of this story!

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

Creating a Postive Routine

I hope you are having a great week. School is back in full swing today for everybody and many families are getting back into their scholastic routine. For the Busby household, our routine is the same every day of the week for school:

1-Alarm goes off at 5:30, Mom heads to the shower and Dad heads to the kitchen to begin breakfast.

2-Gracie Jane dances into the kitchen followed slowly by Lily… Little barks soon after signify Chase and his stuffed puppies are awake too!

3-Breakfast of Daddy’s Life Cereal for the kids, 2 cups of coffee and PBJ for Daddy, Coffee Protein Shake for Mommy.

4-Mommy’s out the door at 7:00 followed by Daddy and the kids at 7:20!

A good routine helps us align our compass for the day so we can navigate the inevitable challenges that each day presents. As we get closer to the beginning of the Fall Fitness Frenzy, I want to ask you what your daily routine is and most importantly, is it beneficial to your overall health.

Our daily meal routine is vital to our overall health, but it is often something that is unplanned. We skip meals, grab what ever is convenient, drink calories in the form of soda, forget to drink water, and typically give little thought to what we put in our body’s for fuel. We eat to lose weight. If wep92 neglect to create a sustainable plan, then we will never see continued success.

If you need to realign your meal compass and create a meal plan that works, the Fall Fitness Frenzy is your opportunity to do that! Our contest starts this Monday, August 18 with our first weigh in. Your first of 12 meal plans will go out this Friday so we can hit the ground running! We have some great contestants already signed up who are ready to lose weight, and maybe even win some cash in 12 weeks. Will you be atop our board, win $250, and be 30 to 50 pounds lighter?

Have a great and healthy day!

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

Perfect Timing

I wrote this article on March 17, 2014 as I started my new business. I’m happy to say that I am still in business and currently in the throws of a boot strap start up! For everyone who’s waiting on that perfect time to begin, here’s my perspective on it.

I quit my job last week to start my own personal training studio and truly follow my passion, helping people live better lives through health and fitness. I have 3 beautiful kids, an amazing wife, 4 months left on our rental house, and a mortgage from our previous home. My daughters 4th birthday is in a week and we are heading to Disney World for the first time in 2 weeks. Currently, I have no facility for my clients to go to, so in between I’m meeting at their house or mine to train.

I’ve already been asked once: “What are you thinking? Couldn’t you have picked a better time?”

Is there really a better time? Is there anything such as perfect timing?

Seizing that right moment and knowing when the perfect opportunity presents itself is every man’s dream. Business pay big money for consultants to pick the perfect time to launch a product. General’s find glory in perfectly timed attacks that catch the enemy off guard and score a decisive victory. Even something as simple as asking that pretty girl on a date requires perfect timing.

Unfortunately, perfect timing only happens in hindsight. When we wait for the perfect time, the right time, or even God’s timing most of us will continue waiting and never act.

The right time is only found when we act. At the time of our action many will think our move is ill timed, the wrong moment, or stupid. You might have a moment of pause and say, “is this really the right thing to do? What happens if this whole thing fails?” Taking decisive action always involves some very calculated, and more often some very big risks.

I remembered Brett McKay’s article from his website Art of Manliness on Dwight D. Eisenhower and his decision, and his decision alone, to send 160,000 troops into the English Channel to take the beaches at Omaha. The weather was horrible leading up to the attack and there was lengthy discussion on the right time to call the invasion. I would encourage you to read the whole article and the process of making that decision.

We can look back now and see the perfect timing of the invasion. Everything in Eisenhower’s life had led to that moment, when he acted and changed the world. But Eisenhower had no idea it was perfect timing. The first thing he did after he gave the order to move was to sit down and write a letter shouldering all of the blame for the failed invasion. He knew at that moment, that perfect moment, that he might be remembered as inept as Zhang Han at the Battle of Julu.

If we take action and move forward with our risk and fail, those people who bet against us will cheerfully step forward and exalt their wisdom and your failure. Your friends will be more loving in their critique. Bad timing, poor market, and just not the right time will be the excuses they offer.

The Book of Acts in the Bible is another great example of perfect timing because of action. The leader of this tiny movement, Jesus of Nazareth, had left this group of working class fishermen and peasants. One of the members had just recently betrayed their leader and sent him to die. The 11 primary members of the group had left their jobs and families to follow Jesus for 3 years and now he was no longer with them. Some were being hunted by the Roman and Jewish authorities. When asked if Jesus would make everything right before he left, Jesus replied: “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.” Acts 1:7 (The Message)

1560392_670565292999540_198460057_nUltimately, the timing of our act is less important than the planning and preparation done in advance. All of our hard work leading up to our moment of action helps give us conviction and a determined heart. When we act, that is the time when all of our preparation comes together.

If our action succeeds, and we score a victory in our endeavor, it will be called perfect timing. Perfect timing is only found when we stop and look back.

Today, we must act.

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

100 Catches a Day

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88)I recently read an article in Sports Illustrated about Tony Gonzalez and his final game in the NFL. While his final season did not turn out the way he would have liked, it was amazing to read his take on his curtain call. I would encourage you to read Peter King’s full story, but this part of the interview blew me away: “My routine hasn’t changed at all. I still catch my 100 balls a day. First of all, that’s what I think has made me the player I am. But then I want the young guys to see it.”

100 catches every day. This guy is an NFL superstar who knows his position inside and out and he still goes out and catches 100 balls a day, in addition to team practice. He continues saying that he wants the younger players to see what it takes to be at his level.

This got me thinking about what I do everyday to make myself a better personal trainer, dad, and husband. What do I do, day in and day out, to be better? Many people I have told about this have brushed it aside by saying, “If I was paid millions of dollars to catch a ball I would do that every day too.” I then ask them, what if there was something you could do every day that would lead to you being paid millions of dollars a year to do your job, would you then do it?

So here’s my question to you and me as we enter 2014: what can we do every day to make ourselves better? Currently, I do 55 push ups and read a chapter in Proverbs before morning coffee. My goal is to do 100 push ups and a chapter before breakfast every day and grow from there.

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” -Jim Collins

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

8 Minutes Ago

8 Minutes Ago

Radiolab had a great program a year ago talking about how much control we have over our lives today and how it is a thin line between what we think we control and what is actually already decided for us today.


It takes 8 minutes for the Suns rays to hit our planet. All of the light and heat we are feeling from the Sun is 8 minutes old and if the our closest star and best buddy decide not to shine all of a sudden we wouldn’t know until 8 minutes later when everything went black and frozen. Nothing we could do, no way to prepare, no way to stop it. BAM! It’s cold and dark and…. we’re done!

Listening to this broadcast, I realized something:

Nothing you do today will have any impact on this day.

Every choice, decision, good day or bad day has already been made for you day’s, week’s, month’s, or year’s ago by you and everyone you encounter today. If I look at today’s schedule there’s little to nothing I can do to really increase my productivity. My clients who I train today made their booking either last week or earlier this week. Also, these clients made a decision week’s ago to begin a workout program. That decision could have been spurred on by a walk by the mirror, a difficult day that sapped every ounce of energy, an infomercial that was seen at midnight because they couldn’t sleep, a suggestion from a friend to find us. Regardless of how they got here today, they are here because of choices they made before today.

So what the heck am I doing today if there’s nothing I can really do about this day? You’re building tomorrow. In health and fitness this is one of the most important lessons to learn, everything we do in a workout is part of a cumulative effort. Your ability today is dictated by how much effort you put in the last day you trained and all of the previous days before that session. When a client jumps on the scale, they know what the number will say even before they see it. If you have been drinking your water, eating your snacks, and maintain habitual discipline between now and the last weigh in you will see a good number. By cheating today and neglecting today we are assuring failure for tomorrow.

This also pours over into other aspects of our life. If our marriage is a success or failure it is because of what we have poured into that relationship. Nobody wakes up in a happy marriage and one day says, “Mom was right, I made a mistake! Honey, this isn’t working. I’m going to Vegas.” On the flip side, one romantic evening will not change a life of discord.

If a child is well behaved in the store and not screaming when told no, you can be assured that the child has heard a “no” before and knows the consequences from previous battles that it does not end well for any member of the family. If you see exasperated parents pleading with a child to calm down and casting any and all forms of bribery toward them, I can assure you the same story will be played out until a new pattern is set.

Our jobs, our house, our yard, our government, our addictions and numerous other relationships could be discussed on how and why we are where we are. Both for better or for worse. I encourage you not to focus on the negative, this only breeds more negative. Instead, look for ways today you can create building blocks for new success and fulfilling habits.

While we can not change today, we can work today to create a better tomorrow.

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness

Chris Busby Personal Fitness

A native of Atlanta, GA, Chris has been helping individuals meet their personal health and fitness goals since 2007.

Before moving to Glynn County, Chris worked with Richard’s Private Wellness & Fitness Studios in Dahlonega, GA. During his time with Richard’s, he developed personalized health and wellness plans for clients ranging in age from 10 to 85 as well as training clients with physical and cognitive health risks to their full potential. He led training sessions one-on-one, small groups, and large groups of 10 or more and has directly trained one client who has lost over 100 pounds, three clients who have lost 50 or more pounds, and 14 clients who have lost 25 or more pounds. In 2011, he helped create the companies weight loss contest that in 2 years assisted participants loss of over 3300 pounds. Chris developed eating plans and resource materials for all weight loss contest participants.

He is a graduate of Reinhardt College with a B.S. in Sports Information and has a Masters in Sports Studies from the University of Georgia. He has previously worked in recreation and university athletics at Presbyterian College, UGA, North Georgia College & State University, and Lumpkin County Parks and Recreation.

Chris and his wife Cassie reside on St. Simons Island with their daughters Gracie Jane and Lily and his son Chase.

To schedule a training session with Chris, you can contact him at 706.429.3738 or via email at chris25busby@gmail.comImage

Like, Tweet, or Google+ Live Oak Fitness