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Hotel Room Workout

31 May

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As promised, here is post #2 of 3 in our vacation series- a hotel room workout. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, or you just don’t want to use it, have no fear because there are other things you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own hotel room. You can even do this workout in your pyjamas if you want – but please don’t forget the running shoes :).

This is a circuit workout (our fav!), do every move one after the other. After you have done all 6 moves back to back, take a 45 sec – 1 min break and repeat the entire workout 3 more times.

The Warm Up

×          Jogging on the spot

×          On the spot simulated jump rope

×          Shoulder rolls

×          Arm circles

×          Chest huggers (swing your arms across your body like you are giving yourself a hug, then swing them open – repeat)

The Workout

Triceps Dips on Chair (max reps)

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If there isn’t a chair in your room, you can do these on the edge of the bed or bathtub. Sit down on the chair, place your hands on either side of you (fingers facing forward), walk your feet out or put them at a 90 degree angle and dip your body down then up. Do as many repetitions as you can.

Elevated Push Ups (max reps)

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Put your feet on the edge of the bed and place your hands shoulder width apart on the ground in front of you so you are in an elevated plank position. Do as many push ups as you can with good form.

Top Hat Abs (15 reps)

Lay down on your back, extend your arms and legs and raise them off the ground. Bring your hands to your head like you are putting on a top hat, and at the same time bring your knees towards your chest. Now pretend to take off the top hat by extending your hands back over your head and extend your legs at the same rime. Do 15 repetitions.

Side to Side Butt Kick Hops (30 seconds)

Crouch down and place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart. Stick your butt up in the hair and hop your feet from side to side – engaging your core the entire time.

Squat Jumps (30 seconds

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Start standing up with your feet hip width apart. Squat down and jump into the air as you come up. Keep going through movement for 30 seconds. Remember to be light on your feet – you are not a T-Rex!

Superman Towel Exchange (1 minute)

Take a small face towel from the hotel bathroom, and fold it up as tight and as small as you can. Lay down on your stomach and assume the Superman position (arms extended and hovering straight out in front of you, palms down and legs extended and hovering above the floor) and hold the towel in one hand. Circle your arms around to your lower back. As you bring your arms around, turn your palms so they are facing up, and when your hands meet at your lower back, transfer the towel to the opposite hand.  Now circle your arms back to your starting position. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds in one direction, and then 30 seconds in the other. Your mission is to end this move with the towel as small as it was when you started!

The Cool Down

×          Light on the spot jogging

×          Full body stretches

This circuit will have your whole body working, and because it’s a quick yet efficient workout-it won’t eat into too much of your vacation time!

S & L

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Summer outdoor fitness challenge

28 May

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With summer right around the corner, the time has come for outdoor workouts. Yesterday, we wrote about different outdoor activities to try out during the summer (click here if you missed it).

Personally, I love working out under the sun. There’s nothing like being in the sun and pushing your body to its limits.

With this in mind, I’ve created a fitness challenge/circuit for you to try outside in a field (a soccer field would be ideal). All you need is running shoes, water, gravity, a stop watch and, of course, the sun!

Here’s the workout…

Warm-Up

Run a couple of laps around the field, then do a mix of jumping jacks and on the spot butt kicks for 1 minute.

Workout

1)      Side Shuffles and Burpees

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–          Side shuffle from one end of the field to the other, then, WITHOUT taking a break, do 10 burpees

–          Once you’re done the burpees, side shuffle back to the other side (leading with your other foot) and do 10 more burpees

–          Once you’ve done the 10 burpees take a 15 second break and repeat 2 more times

* Time yourself to see how long it takes to complete this part of the workout-the next time you do the workout try and beat your previous time

2)      Push-ups and Plank Mountain Climbers

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–          Do as many push-ups as you can, then without taking a break, do 20 mountain climbers while still in plank position. Take a 15 second break and then repeat the moves 2 more times.

*Record the amount of push ups you do to see if you can improve the next time you do the workout

3)      Lunges and Jump squats

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–          Do walking lunges from one end of the field to the other (make sure your front knee is over your ankle and your back knee drops down to a 90 degree angle!)

–          Once you’ve reached the other side of the field, do 20 – 30 jump squats, then immediately do walking lunges back to the other side and complete 20-30 more jump squats

–          Repeat 2 more times… NO BREAK

4)      Plank and Back and Forth Sprints*

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–          Hold the plank for as long as you can without sacrificing form

–          Do back and forth sprints for a minute

–          After the sprints take a 30 second break and repeat 2 more times.

* Take note of how long you hold the plank and try to improve the next time!

Cool Down

-lightly jog to one end of the field and then jog backwards to your starting point

-stretch!

A great way to track your progress is to take note of how long you can do things or how many reps you can do. It’s also good to write down whether you found moves difficult or easy. Before you do the workout the next time, look at your notes and try and improve on your times/reps. If you continue to write this information down you will be able to look back and see where you have improved!

After completing this workout, you’ll be pretty tired – but don’t worry, I designed it that way J. This workout pushes the entire body to its limits. So challenge yourself and try it out. When you’re done, you can lie in the grass in the sun and catch some rays… you will have earned it!

– S

*Back and Forth Sprints: Use rocks or other objects markers. Put the markers about 10m apart from each other (farther if you want more of a challenge!). Start at one end, sprint to the other, bend over and touch your marker, then run back touch the other marker and repeat.

Revamped 30 Minute Circuit Gym Workout

16 Apr

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A little while back I wrote a post about 30 minute circuit gyms and how ineffective they really are (to read it click here). But of course, I can’t just slam them and not give you some sort of alternative right?! This post is going to go through the typical exercises you would do at one of these types of gyms and then I will give you alternative exercises that work the same muscles (and others  as well!) but will have your whole body working to increase calorie burn and functionality.

30 Minute Circuit Gym Exercises

S & L Revamped Exercises

Bicep/Tricep Machine  Squat and Jump Bicep Curls


Bicep: Hold one dumbbell horizontally at chest level (one hand on each side of dumbbell). Go down into proper squat position. Once in your squat, lower the dumbbell from your chest, straighten your arms in front of you. Curl the dumbbell back towards your chest (while in the squat!). Once the dumbbell is back at your chest, do a 180 degree jump so you are in a squat facing the other way, repeat curl and jump.

Tricep Dips: Sit down on the bench and place your hands on either side of your body with your fingers facing forwards. Walk your feet straight out so that your butt is no longer on the bench. Dip your whole body down while keeping your elbows close to your body, then come back up. Repeat

*to modify this move to meet your fitness level, if dipping with straight legs is too difficult, bring your legs to 45 or 90 degrees

Recovery High Knee Skipping
Leg Extension Sumo Squat with Kick


Stand with your feet wider than hips width apart, toes facing forward. Squat down keeping your knees in line with your ankles. As you come up kick the right leg out in front of you. Place your right leg back down, squat followed by a kick with your left leg. Repeat

Recovery Jumping Jacks
Shoulder Press/Lat Pull Peekaboo Press with Squat


Grab a pair of dumbbells -stand with your feet hips width apart and your arms up at 90 degrees palms facing forward. Rotate your forearms inwards bringing them side by side in front of your face, palms facing you (keep arms at 90 degrees). Rotate forearms to their starting position; press the dumbbells over your head while squatting down. As you bring your arms back to 90 degrees stand up straight. Repeat

Recovery Skip Kicks
Leg Press Walking Lunges


Start standing with your feet side by side and your hands on your hips. Bring your right foot forward so you are in a lunge position (back leg straight, front knee directly over front ankle). Bring your left leg forward so you are back to your starting position, then place your left leg in front of you so it is now the bent, front leg in your lunge. Do 4 lunges in one direction, then turn around and do 4 lunges in the other direction.

Recovery High Knee Skipping
AB/Back Superman to banana roll overs


Start lying down on your stomach with your arms out in front of your body shoulder width apart, and your legs slightly open. While keeping your neck neutral, raise your arms and legs off the ground (so you look like Superman flying!) hold for 5 seconds then roll over to one side so that your back is now touching the ground-keep your arms and legs raised the whole time. Hold the banana pose for 5 seconds then roll over to your Superman position. *Make sure you are not always rolling to the same side to ensure you are working your oblique’s evenly

Recovery Skip Kicks
Hip Abduction/Adduction Squat Jacks


This move is pretty much what it sounds like-jumping jacks while in a squat position.

*To make it more challenging and get your core more involved as you open your legs in the jump, bring your hand touch the outside of the opposite foot.

Recovery Jog on the Spot
Chest/Back Sideways Walking Push Ups


Start in plank position. Place your right hand out father to the side along with your right foot-push up. Do this two times to the right, and two times to the left. See how many you can do in the 30 secs-1 minute

Recovery Jumping Jacks
Squat Jump Squats


This one is pretty simple. Instead of doing a normal squat-as you come up from your squat jump straight up into the air. As you land (softly!) go back into your squat and repeat the movements.

*When you are jumping, try jumping from the bottom of your squat to get more height, land softly on your feet as you come down, and cushion yourself as you go back into the squat

Recovery High Knee Skipping

****Don’t forget to include a warm up and a cool down/stretch!

Do every exercise for 30 seconds – 1 minute (depending on your current fitness level) and do the active recovery move for 30 seconds. As your fitness level increases you will need less and less recovery time, so feel free to remove the active recovery moves when you no longer need them. After you have gone through the entire circuit, take a short water break and then get right back into it! See how many times you can get through the workout in 30 minutes.

One of the draws of 30 minute circuit gyms is that the workout is only 30 minutes. We understand that people are busy, and sometimes 30 minutes may be all the time you have for a workout. If that is the case, it is important that you are using that time wisely and really getting your body moving and heart pumping in order to have an effective workout in such a short amount of time. No more of these “it’s better than nothing” workouts! Our revamped workout will have your whole body working – and in case you haven’t noticed yet, there will be no sitting down!

Good luck everyone!

L

Music as Motivation

11 Mar

Music as Motivation

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You’ve got up, put on your workout gear, gotten yourself to the gym and are on the treadmill, or in the weight room but you can’t seem to give your workout more than a half ass effort. Has this ever happened to you?? Believe it or not, sometimes just getting yourself to the gym is the hardest part of the workout. Once you are there, why not give it 100%? I know, sometimes it is easier said than done.

I myself have had workouts where I feel like I am in a funk and just can’t seem to push myself as hard as I want to. So, what do I do when this happens? I turn to my iPod to get me through and really motivate me. Sometimes music makes all the difference. It is important to find the type of music that motivates you to run faster, jumper higher, lift more weight or hold that uncomfortable yoga pose a few seconds longer. Once you find the right genre for you, fill your iPod with it!  For example, when I am lifting weights I like to listen to rap, when I am running I like fast paced hip hop or pop, and when I am spinning I throw in some techno because I need a really good beat to match my leg speed to. I even organize my playlist and name them according to my different types of workouts. That way I never have to worry about wasting precious workout time flipping through to find the perfect song. You just have to be careful that you don’t lose focus on the task at hand, and that’s your workout!

I rely pretty heavily on music during my workouts; I just find it gives me that little extra sometin’ sometin’ that I need. So you can imagine my horror when the other day I went to turn on my iPod only to learn it went into permanent sleep mode L. I quickly went out and bought myself a new one because I don’t know what I would do without it! Then it came time to reload it with all my favorite workout songs. Now before my old iPod died on me, one night I had it plugged in because I was updating my music (this is key, you don’t want to get bored of the music-sometimes just changing around the order does the trick!), and when I came back to it later that night ALL my songs had been completely wiped off. Now this probably should have been a warning that my iPod was on its death bed, but apparently I am not that smart. Anyways, I needed new music and fast, so I turned to my younger sister. I often go to her for new and hip songs because she is way cooler than me and is always in the know about what’s hot and what’s not. She came to my rescue and sent me a ton of awesome songs that have really been motivating me through my workouts. Here are a few of the songs that she told me to download:

Havana Brown feat. Pitbull – Run the Night

Britney Spears vs Coldplay – Clock it Against Me

LMFAO, David Rush feat. Pitbull-  Party Rock Remix

David Guetta feat. Snoop Dog- Sweat

Calvin Harris feat. Neyo – Let Go

 

-L

At Home Circuit Workout

6 Mar

Today’s Post is an at home circuit that will work you head to toe!  Here’s how this circuit works:

  • There are 3 different rounds; each round is made up of 3, 1 minute circuit moves (an upper body move, lower body move and full body/core move)
  • In between each round there is an active recovery move
  • After you have completed the entire workout, give yourself a one minute break
  • Do the entire workout 3 x –decreasing the amount of time you are doing the recovery move each time
  • Don’t forget to warm up and stretch before the workout, and cool down and stretch after!!

Good Luck!

Round 1

A- Wide arm push ups

B- Lunge switch jumps

C- High knees with arm twists

Active Recovery Move: Jumping Rope on the Spot (1 minute/45 seconds/30 seconds)

Round 2

A- Elevated triceps dips (do them on a chair, or on the stairs!)

B- Squat and kick

C– In and out crunches

Active Recovery Move: Jumping Jacks (1 minute/45 seconds/30 seconds)

Round 3

A- Bicep curl to shoulder press

B- Lateral skater hops

C- Front and back walking push ups (4 front, 4 back)

Active Recovery Move: Standing Mountain Climbers (1 minute/45 seconds/30 seconds)

Push and Pull

29 Jan

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Take a quick look around any gym and you’ll see people doing many different types of upper body strength building exercises: from the bench press, to bicep curls, to triceps kickbacks or lat-pull downs. There are so many different upper body exercises that it can be both intimidating and confusing for someone with little strength training experience.  “Which muscles should I work out on the same day?”, “What types of exercises should I do?”

When it comes to working out he upper body, basically, all moves can be categorized as “push” or “pull”. Knowing the difference between these two types of exercises can help you get the most out of your workouts.

Push exercises

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Push exercises are any movements in which you are pushing the weight away from your body. These exercises work the “push” muscles – the pectorals (chest muscles), triceps, and the front of your shoulders.

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For example, when on the bench press the weight is PUSHED away from the body, and you feel it in your chest and a bit in your shoulders. Another example is a bench dip. As you push up from the bench, you feel it in your triceps. Any exercise that work the chest, tricep or shoulder muscles are push exercises. A few more push exercises include: push-ups, shoulder press, tricep-kickbacks and tricep-extensions.

Pull exercises

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Pull exercises are movements in which you are pulling the weight towards your body. These exercises work the “pull” muscles – the rhomboids (upper back muscles) and the latissimus dorsi (lat muscles). Pull exercises also work the biceps and the back of your shoulders.

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For example, when doing a chin up, you are pulling your body towards the bar, and you’re working the latissimus dorsi as well as the biceps. Another example is the bicep curl. As you curl the weight towards your body, you are pulling the weight towards you, which works the biceps. Any exercise that works the back or biceps are pull exercises. Some other examples include: Seated rows, preacher curls and lat-pull-downs.

Creating workouts

You can use this knowledge to help create effective upper-body workouts. There are a few options to choose from when creating workouts:

Option 1: Push Days and Pull Days

You can choose to work the push muscles on one day and then the pull muscles on another. For example, Mondays could be a chest, tricep and shoulder workout – all push muscles, and Wednesday can be a back and bicep workout – pull muscles.

Option 2: Opposing Muscles

Another option is to work opposing muscles on the same day by combining push and pull exercises. For example, the chest and back muscles are opposing muscle groups, so you can work them out together. Then, in you next upper body workout, you can work the biceps and triceps muscles, which oppose each other. You can also include the shoulders in your bicep/tricep day because the shoulder acts as a link to the arms.

Another option is to workout the shoulders on their own day, and maybe combine it with core or abs.

Working out the upper body comes down to pushing and pulling – basic movements that we do every day. By keeping this in mind, you can have effective workouts that hit all the major muscles in the upper body.

–          S

Post Christmas Butt-kicking

31 Dec

Well… sadly, Christmas is over. We hope you had a great day filled with family and friends – and food. Now that Christmas is over, it’s time make up for all the gravy, stuffing and baked goods that were consumed over the course of the day.

Overeating-at-Christmas

So, here’s a simple cardio workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home. This workout is a full body workout and a great way to burn fat and build strength – and in this case, burn off all those extra Christmas calories!

The key is to go through the workout as quick as you can, without taking breaks. Once you’ve completed all 8 moves, then take a 30 second to 1 minute break, then repeat.

Warm-up:

Jog on the spot – 30 seconds

Sprint on the spot- 30 seconds

Skip on the spot (if you don’t have a rope, simulate it)- 60 reps

Jumping jacks- 40 reps

COMPLETE THE WARM UP TWICE

Workout:

  1. Jump squats (20-30 reps) – Go down into a low squat, then explode up and jump of the ground. Your toes should come up about an inch or two above the ground.
  2.  Lay Down, Stand Up, Sprint (10 reps)- Lay flat on the ground, then stand up as quickly as you can, then sprint on the spot 10 times.
  3. Military Push-ups (Max reps) – It is very similar to a regular push-up, the only difference is your hands are right under your shoulder and your elbows are right beside your body.
  4. Lunge Switch Jumps (30-40 reps)– start in a lunge position with your right leg forward, and left leg in the back. Explode up and jump, while alternating your left leg to the front and right leg to the back. Land and go down into a lunge. That is one rep.
  5. Mountain Climber Jumps (15 reps)- Start at the top of a push-up. “While holding upper body in place, alternate leg positions by pushing hips up while immediately extending forward leg back and pulling rear leg forward under body, landing on both forefeet simultaneously.” MountainClimber                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do 8 mountain climbers, then stand up and jump while reaching your hands in the air. That is one rep.
  6. 180 Jump Squats (30 reps)- This exercise is similar to the first exercise, except instead of simply jumping up and landing, turn your body while in the air so that you are now facing the other direction. The key is to go low here and explode off the heels.
  7.  Military Drill (6 reps) – Do 5 push ups, then do 8 mountain climbers, stand up, jump then go back to the push up position and repeat.
  8.  High knee sprint ( 1 minute) – Sprint on the spot, bringing your knees up to your hips. Don’t forget to pump your arms!

 

30 second – 1 minute break, then repeat 2 more times

Cool-down:

Lightly jog on the spot for 45 seconds

Go into static stretching. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Enjoy!!!!!

– S & L

Thanks to EXRX.net for the Mountain Climber explanation                         (http://www.exrx.net/Aerobic/Exercises/MountainClimber.html)