Issue #13


by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 questions with our cover model: Diana Crandall

Video Interview Cover Model: NPC Fitness Diana Crandall

April Jacobs: Her Journey to the IFBB Fitness Pro Ranks
by April Jacobs

A Twisted Year of Fate: My Road To Fitness Nationals
by Katie Madden

Diana Crandall, Catherine Boushizen, Holly Nicholson, Houng Arcinas and Tara Gooch

Video Interview:
NPC Figure Stephanie Middleton

Gymnastics & Skills Pt. 2
by Linda

Video Interview:
IFBB Figure Pro Trish Mayberry

Interview with Lynda Thoresen Winner of the Excalibur

Video Interview:
IFBB Fitness Pro Kim Seeley

A Twisted Year of Fate Part 2: My Trip to the Heart of the Fitness Industry
by Kaisa Piippo

Sport Specific Training and Conditioning: Utilizing your Heart Rate Monitor
by Traci Redding

Gymnastics & Skills Part 2 by Linda Cusmano

Planche Holds have a variety of creative poses. You should practice holding your legs up while balancing on your hands with your feet apart. Using a body ball to get you going is a great start, then soon take that away and try on the ground, using elbows to prop you by putting them into your mid section. As you get stronger you can do some with on of the elbows at your side. Once you can get up and balance then take the chin off the ground. Next step is to try the leg variations. The lower horizontal planches are very hard and used in men's gymnastics, some men spin on an arm!

Linda Cusmano


Taking a few dance classes is a great way to keep up with hot new moves if you are not in the clubs regularly or watching videos all the time! Even if you have previous dance experience but have not been into it lately, this is a great advantage toward sharpening your stance, poise, form and movement. A must for anyone with no dance experience! Hip Hop, Latin Dance, Jazz and Break Dance are great places to start and very commonly available at reasonable drop in fees. You want to keep it all high energy and these are high energy forms of dance! You really want to refine any movement you decide to put into your routine, polish it and own it!! Some simple common transition movements are chasses, pirouette, step slide, grapevine movements, step turns and more!

Linda Cusmano

High kicks are basic dynamic moves which always spice up the Fitness Routine and can be easily achieved as a cool move to fill in spots where you wish to show your incredible muscular endurance and flexibility. You need to make sure you can bring your leg up without dropping your butt or bending the knee in the anchor leg. Chest must be out and shoulders back and relaxed. It impresses the judges if you can do both legs. Hamstrings and groin should be sufficiently warmed up and stretched.

Scale left
Scale right
Knee Drop
Side Lying Split
Hitch Kick Knee
Knee Spin

Push Ups

Once you can do a pushup, try doing them with one foot off the ground and knee bent to make it look pretty! Another idea is to do a pushup, touch elbow and knee together then pushup and do it again on another side.

From here you can try moving your pushup sideways so that you do a push up then cross arms and legs to move toward the left and repeat. When you cross legs, bring the leg under the other, not over.

Yoga twist pushup takes the twist hold into a pushup, first practice getting the hold then you can try bending the elbows to get a pushup or 2!

Hinge close grip push ups are done by keeping elbows stuck to body in the pushup, which is a triceps pushup actually! So you bend to 90 degrees then slide back onto the elbows, return and up.
Hinge with legs out is done like a regular pushup but feet together and at the down phase your elbows bend toward the body to touch the ground - while that happens your feet split out with a hop, then back in when the elbows return.

1 arm hinge
is when you hinge your elbow in during one arm pushups down phase, but I think this one looks sloppy so I usually don't suggest it, it is no stronger than a one arm push up itself which is seamless and smooth versus adding the hinge.

Linda Cusmano

1 arm pushups start with a negative rep. Try slowly lowering your body to the floor using one arm beginning at the up phase of the pushup. Try to place your anchor hand in a balanced position so as to avoid pressure on the shoulder joint. Again as in the regular pushup, make sure you keep your belly button pulled into your lower back (this is called being ‘engaged’), do not put butt in the air or drop your belly! Keep feet shoulder width apart and hands out beyond your shoulder area. Do not drop your chin, try looking up a bit. Elbows should bend to 90 degrees, chest leading. Some girls start with their feet far apart to learn and get stronger, which is fine but you must slowly work them closer so that by routine time your strength shows and you don't look like you're cheating with your feet too far apart.

Split pushups are easy if you're flexible enough. You simply put a leg on a shoulder and do your pushups. Nice transition is to go into the split hold. Some strong girls can do this with the anchor leg off the ground hovering!

Linda Cusmano

Straddle pushups are also an awkward looking pushup which I do not favor but it seems the spectators and judges do. This is done with both legs on your shoulders as you do the pushups.

1 arm 1 leg push ups are fabulous and come from sport aerobics. This is all about balance and taking your regular pushup, bringing the limbs inline then slowly lowering. Add in the up phase as you get stronger, or a towel around the waist is a great tool for partner to help pick up the slack with.

Linda Cusmano

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About the Author...

Linda Cusmano

Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Competitor
Body Rush Personal Training & Lifestyle Consultation

If you are beyond this level and looking for more tips toward contest physiques then feel free to email me your questions and I will try to help.
Any fitness, health, diet, rehab or contest (fitness, figure, bodybuilding, fitness model) questions can be emailed to Angel@lindacusmano.com

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