Category Archives: Top 10
Notice I didn’t say ab exercises because these moves work way more muscles than just your abs – they work your ENTIRE core.
I could have listed things like the single leg squat and deadlift since they are so great in terms of working your core, but since I’ve talked about them a few times recently, I decided to include some different ones to add to your exercise repertoire.
Really any single limb movement is going to engage your core more be it rotational or anti-rotational. For some single limb movements you can use to work your core, check out this blog with single limb exercises.
Below are some core focused moves that I really love!
- Wall push – This move can either be super easy or super tough…It is up to you. To do this move, stand up against a wall and push into the wall as if you are going to move the wall backwards. Get up nice and close to the wall as if you are at the bottom of a push ups. Drive all the way up through your feet into your hands against the wall. Your core should be tight enough that if someone comes and pushes on you from any angle you won’t move. (To make the move more difficult, have someone actually push on you from all angles as you hold!)
- Pull up and hold – You can do this as a chin up or pull up. You can do it off a bar, off a peg board, off of TRX straps…wherever. But what you need to do is pull to the top of a pull up or chin up and HOLD. Keep your legs straight down toward the ground and your chin above the bar. Keep your chest pressed out and shoulder blades down and back. Squeeze your belly button in toward your spine and keep your glutes tight. Hold as long as you can. This move is also a great way to work on pull ups (especially if you do a slow negative on the way down!).
- Inchworm with row – So when I first started and had to train both of the owners, I busted out this move for one of their workouts because it is probably one of the best full body moves out there! To perform the inch worm, start standing. Place your hands on the ground as if you are performing a hamstring stretch. Then walk your hands out until you are in a high plank or top of a push up position. Then walk your feet back in, keeping your legs as straight as possible until you are back in that standing hamstring stretch. To make this move harder, add a dumbbell back row in the plank position. So with the weights walk your hands out to the plank just like you would with the basic inchworm. In the plank, perform one dumbbell row on each side, then walk your feet back in. Make sure to keep your hips from rotating when performing the row (you want a solid plank position…not butt up toward the ceiling!). To make this move super hard, add sliders or even plate weights that will slide to your feet. Instead of walking your feet back in, slide them together back in, like you are performing a jackknife. The sliders will also make it more difficult as you walk out and as you hold the plank.
- Power Ropes Sidewinders (Can also do rainbows) – I picked this rope move because it is super super good for the obliques and works rotation unlike the moves above which all work in the sagittal plane. In a nice athletic stance, you rotate side to side as quickly as you can, causing the rope to smoothly snake all the way down. You can also mix in some rotation with the rainbow wave, which reminds me a bit of a Russian twist. You start at the hipbone and make a rainbow up to the shoulders and down to the other hipbone. For videos of these moves, check out John Brookfield’s Youtube. He and Ingrid have some great moves for the ropes, including waves and pulls (as well as a lot of other cool random stuff!).
- Windmills (or progressed to Turkish Get Up) – So I actually saw these in an article the other day and was like “I haven’t done these in FOREVER and I used to LOVE them! I haven’t done them in forever because recently I’ve been doing the Turkish Get Up. BUT both are great for shoulder stabilization as well as core strength. To perform a windmill, you can start with out weight. Feet should be about shoulder width. Turn out the toe of the side that you aren’t going to work to about 45 degrees. Straighten the other arm up toward the ceiling. You are then going to hinge over, driving the butt cheek of the arm that is up out to the side as much as you can. Then you are going to stand back up, keeping the arm straight toward the ceiling the entire time.
- Landmine wipers or twists – So this can be both a rotational and anti-rotational move. You can either rotate from hip to hip with the barbell or you can decide to fight against rotating as you lower the barbell down to about shoulder height on each side.
- Sit Thrus - One of my favorite moves. It kind of looks like breakdancing when it is done correctly…at least to me anyway. To do this move, start in a table top crawling position. Start up on your hands and toes with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Then you are going to literally sit through. With your right knee bent, you are going to sit through your left side, raising your left hand off the ground. Then return back to the starting position and repeat on the other side. (Check out the top two photos below to see the two main parts of the move.)
- Planks with pulls or waves – So there are actually like three exercises really included in number 8. There is the plank with a pull from either in front or behind. This one can involve a hip hinge like the one show below with the chain.
There is also the plank with a pull through across the body. With this one you reach your hand under and across your body while holding a plank to grab a rope or a sandbag. You then pull the bag or rope across your body to the other side. Depending on your goal for the move, you can either use a slight hip hinge or you can fight against the rotation of your hips to hold a strict plank. And last, but not least, there is a plank with one-handed battling waves. I had my volleyball girls do this one the other day. It is harder than you would think!
- Handstands – Handstands are just an amazing move. A full handstand without support requires a lot of core strength. As you work up to that, you can work on your core strength by doing variations of the handstand. You can start with a downward dog and then progress by walking your feet up a wall. As you get your feet up higher on the wall, walk your hands as close as you can to the wall until you are completely vertical. Once you get in super close, you can advance the move by walking side to side or lifting one hand up to tap your thigh.
- Bar rotations – I found these when reading Nick Tumminello’s articles. He has some AMAZING STUFF about…well…EVERYTHING! These honestly are like a standing variation of the Russian twist, but I definitely like them better! (And I kind of like them when I need to vent a bit of anger…they feel like I’m fighting something haha)
Runners up: I really love these moves as well so want to mention them even if I don’t go into detail.
Medball throws both sideways and overhead. Medball slams both rotational and straight ahead.
Any front loaded exercise like front squats or good mornings. When you front load you force your core to work harder to stabilize!
Also, I love any sort of hanging knees to elbows or feet to bar or even skin the cats. However, since crossfit became popular I feel like most people know those so chose not to include them. Also, those can be incredibly tough and not easily done by everyone. Everyone can do some variation of the exercises above.
I also wanted to include a ton of plank variations…Plank on the power wheel. Plank with reach throughs. Plank with reach back and out. Planks on sliders where you slide your feet backwards and stretch out then come back to starting…ACTIVE planks. I love ACTIVE planks. But there were just so many that I honestly feel like planks need their own full article if I’m going to touch on them!
And last but not least, resistance band rotations and even the stability press…actually especially the stability press. I love anti-rotational moves!
What are your favorite core moves that aren’t either crunches or sit ups?
How often do you do single leg exercises? Or single arm exercises for that matter.
Like single leg deadlifts…or single leg squats…or single arm rows…or single arm presses…
Never? Every once in awhile?
Most people don’t include that many single leg or single arm exercises, but they are incredibly important to mix in.
When you do single limb movements, you are forced to engage your core more AND you isolate the working limb so that a dominate side can’t take over for a weaker side!
By doing single limb movements we can correct any imbalances between sides and improve our balance and proprioception, all of which can help prevent injury.
And the cool part about the single limb movements is that we can use little to no weight and get in a killer workout. You can build great strength with single limb movements, which can make them a great option for at home workouts if you don’t have heavy weights available!
Plus if you do work up to heavy weights on single limb movements just think about how much stronger you will be when you do your traditional deadlift, squat or bench press. A LOT STRONGER! You will have better balance, more core engagement, and each side will be equally as strong. Plus single limb movements are a great time to really focus on posture and form so that when you return to the heavy lifts you will be even stronger with even less risk of injury.
Here are some great single limb moves that you should be adding into your workouts!
- Single Leg Deadlift - Can you tell this is one of my new favorite moves!?! The single leg deadlift, is one of the best ways to wake up your glutes and work on your core strength and balance. You can also really build strength with this move. I love to use a kettlebell, but a dumbbell, sandbag or barbell would also work. Even just starting with bodyweight but taking your time to really use perfect form will blast your booty the first workout or so!
- Single Leg Squat – Can you do a pistol squat? For me that is the epitome of strength. There are some great variations you can do to work up to the full pistol squat. You can do a single leg squat to bench or use a TRX for just a little stability. Once you get up to a decent range of motion, you can simply use a little weight for counter balance. To do that, just hold a plate weight out in front and squat down. Whichever move you do, trust me…your legs will feel it and so will your core!
- Single Leg Glute Bridge – A great move to do to activate those butt cheeks! This can be a great move to add to your warm up or a part of your strength training program for the day. If you can get your hips super high when doing the move from the ground, try it with your feet elevated. A super simple, but great way to tone those butt cheeks!
- Skater Hops – If you want to get a bit of cardio and work in a plane other than the sagittal one, skater hops are a great move. They work your legs from a different angle than the moves above and require you to stabilize in a different plane. If you aren’t ready for this jumping move, start with side lunges. While not perfectly a one leg move, you can really isolate one side and make it work, by stepping out to the side and then by making that same leg push you back center.
- Step Ups – It’s crazy how many people have trouble going up the stairs as they get older. This move is a great way to prevent that from happening! You can do these in all three planes if you want to add a bit of variety to your workout and hit your glutes from all angles. Start with a low box. As you can easily step up, driving through the heel without leaning forward or using the other foot, up the height of the box you are stepping on to. Then add weight. You can make this more about strength by adding weight or you can make it a bit more cardio by challenging yourself to go faster or do explosive step ups! Either way, it isolates each leg and really makes them both work!
- Single Arm OH Press – You can use dumbbells or kettlebells but this move is a great way to isolate each arm. You can stay on one side or do alternating arm presses. You can make this a strict press or even work a bit on your jerk. You can even do some isometric holds at the top! Make sure though that you have the mobility to do this move. Too much overhead pressing and a lack of mobility can lead to serious injury.
- Single Arm Chest Press (anti-rotational) – So there are two basic chest movements that I like to do. One is anti-rotational. What that means is that I use a bad or a dumbbell and perform a chest press without allowing my upper body to rotate. Your core really has to work to prevent any rotation from occurring. I love doing this standing with a super heavy band that makes me want to rotate especially since I’m only pressing on one side. (This can also be a great move to help you work toward a one arm push up….in case you are interested in doing one!)
- Single Arm Chest Press (rotational) – This is the second type of chest press that I like to do…the rotational. When I do this standing with a band, it is almost like throwing a punch with the hand holding the band. This move also works your core, but is focused more on the global musculature and not as much on the stabilizing muscles unlike the anti-rotational move. This move also seems incredibly functional to me, which probably is why I like it so much!
- Single Arm Row (anti-rotational) – So I love doing a single arm inverted row and forcing myself NOT to rotate. It is really hard to keep your shoulders level without holding onto the other strap! I also like doing an inch worm with rows. Anytime you do a plank with row and force yourself not to rotate the hips, you really make your core work! And you are still isolating each side while you are performing a row so each side has to do a full workload.
- Single Arm Row (rotational) – While the anti-rotational row is great, so are moves like the “lawn mower row” (where you reach down toward your foot and then row up a little past your side just like starting a lawn mower…if anyone actually remembers having to do that…). Working on the muscles that support rotation are super important since, let’s face it, we usually aren’t in perfect position when we do things in everyday life. NOPE! Usually we are rotating and pulling and pushing at slightly odd angles. So doing a single arm inverted row with rotation CAN be a good thing! It works everything from a different angle!
So looking at this list…How many of these moves have you ever done? How often do you isolate each side to correct imbalances?
And if you have considered some of these moves, have you done some of the rotational or anti-rotational variations? It all goes back to my post from the other day…Are you working in all the different planes?
P.S. I will hopefully have a few picture shortly to help illustrate some of these things!
So I definitely have solid views on nutrition, but I actually don’t vocalize them as much as you would think considering I rant and rave all the time about them here.
If someone asks me my opinion, I will tell them what I personally think.
Like yesterday, the volleyball girls asked me about post-exercise nutrition.
My answer? Eat a lean protein source and a simple carb. Those will be quickly absorbed by your body and used as fuel.
When asked what counted as a lean protein source or simple carb, I answered…
Turkey, chicken, whey protein, rice, potatoes, fruit.
Notice I didn’t say no gluten. Notice I didn’t say no protein bars. (Heck notice I didn’t even say, “Well honestly, I don’t even worry about pre and post workout nutrition…That is something that really only a top few elite competitors/athletes/bodybuilders need to worry about…That the most important thing truly is to eat a whole, natural food diet throughout the day and make sure you are eating when you are hungry!)
I simply listed things I believed are good – things that I would eat.
When asked specifically about bread or gluten or processed foods, I usually say, “Well I don’t believe in eating those things, but there are other people who do x, y and z and it works for them.”
I will almost always present the other side. (Except of course for here where I get to rant about the other side! YESSSS!)
Because it isn’t up to me what you choose. I can provide you with information about my reasons for my decisions, but I can’t tell you what is right.
Because it is a gamble. There are literally thousands of studies and people on both sides of the fat/gluten/carb/vegetarian fence.
Which side you decide to pick is ultimately up to you.
I’ve picked a side and am constantly doing research to make sure that I know WHY I make the decisions that I do.
Anyway, the reason I thought about all of this is because I’m writing up a “10 Healthy Lifestyle Tips” for this Heart Healthy Expo Jeff and I are going to tomorrow.
I was reading through a lot of the different heart-healthy tip things online and I couldn’t bring myself to provide people with recipes or tips that included canola oil and other such crap as healthy.
So below are the 10 Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tips I came up with. I managed to make the tips stay pretty darn mainstream WITHOUT going against my beliefs. I didn’t say not to eat whole grains…I just most definitely didn’t say to do it!!!
- Eat whole, natural foods and cut back on processed, pre-packaged food items. Processed foods are loaded with sugars and bad fats that cause inflammation.
- Use healthy fats such as olive oils, coconut oils and naturally-raised animal fats INSTEAD OF canola and soybean oils, which cause inflammation because they are loaded with omega-6s.
- Cut back on sugar and consume more complex carbohydrates especially fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals that protect our health.
- Cook more meals. No matter how healthy the restaurant meal supposedly is, it never measures up to a home-cooked meal. Even with our busy schedules and long workdays, we can fit in time to cook. It just takes some planning. Find meals, like casseroles and crockpot recipes, which allow you to make huge portions all at once so that you have leftovers for all those busy days when you don’t have time to cook!
- Plan in some “me time.” Too much stress can negatively impact our health. It is important to take some time each day. This can mean going for a walk with friends, reading a book or anything that allows you to relax for even just 5 minutes at the end of your day.
- Get more sleep! Those who average five or fewer hours of sleep per night have a far higher incidence of “silent” heart disease. In a study done, 27% of those who slept five hours or less per night developed calcifications that can signal heart disease after five years, compared to just 6% of those who slept an average of seven hours or more.
- Do 30 minutes of low intensity aerobic activity (walking, hiking, swimming, chasing after your kids on the playground) 2-3 times per week. Low intensity aerobic activity helps to strengthen our heart and burn fat.
- “Sprint” once a week. To sprint means to do short, intense activity once a week where you get your heart rate up and then let it recover before you go again. The intensity of your sprint will be dependent on your fitness level. A sprint should be between 8-20 seconds of intense work followed by a long period of rest (2 to 5 times the amount work).
- Lift weights! Too often we ignore weight training when it comes to heart health, but strength training is important! Resistance training has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure while improving cholesterol levels and glucose metabolism. All of which result in a healthier heart! Add in weight training 2-3 times per week.
- Skip the two a days! More time in the gym doesn’t always equal better health. Overtraining can actually have negative effects on your health. Your workouts don’t need to be more than an hour especially if they are super intense. So don’t worry about how long you workout for – focus on your intensity!
NOTE: I am not ashamed of my beliefs, but I do believe that sometimes if you are too vocal upon first conversation with someone who you can actually get them to shut down and complete tune out all of the good stuff you are saying. Sometimes if you ease people into the unknown they are more accepting of the things you have to say!
Just because you can pick the weight off of the ground, doesn’t mean you should.
While you technically may be strong enough to lift a weight, your body may not actually be ready to handle the loads, especially on a consistent basis.
So how do you build up so that your body can handle the weight?
- Foam roll – Foam rolling releases tight muscles and helps restore proper length tension relationships so that the correct muscles are recruited when you need them.
- Stretch – So if you’ve ever seen a competitive lifter, you will notice they are extremely flexible. While you may not want to do any static stretching BEFORE you workout, a good stretching program each day will help to prevent injury and increase range of motion around your joints.
- Activate – Too often people aren’t using a HUGE muscle when they do squats and deadlifts – their butts. Make sure before you work out that you have all the proper muscles activated – you will lift more that way. And part of having everything activated….Is warming up!
- WARM UP – Walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes before you lift isn’t a proper warm up. Sorry. A good warm up should loosen up muscles and active muscles so that they are ready to work. Band walks to activate your glutes can be a great part of a warm up. So can inch worms, side shuffles, skips and multiplanar lunges!
- Light first – So each time I start a heavy lift, my first couple of sets is lighter than the rest. Even if I’m trying to maintain the same heavy weight for 5 sets, I’ll do two or three warm up sets first to build to the weight. NEVER jump right into the weight you built up to last week!!!
- Steady slow increases – As you build up to heavier and heavier weights, you want to do it in slow, steady increases. While form may break down when you hit your true max, you don’t want it to break down as you slowly add weight. Track your progress and each time try to add just a little more.
- Work your weak points – You are only as strong as your weakest link. If your shoulders aren’t strong, you won’t be able to bench as much or do as many push ups as the rest of your upper body can handle. You don’t have to do isolated muscle movements to strengthen the weak points just choose exercises that allow them to be the main mover!
- Choose complementary exercises – Don’t just keep doing the same exercises over and over again. Sometimes variety can be key. While you don’t just want to do random exercises, you do want to make sure that you are strengthening your muscles from a couple of different angles. For deadlifts, kettlbell swings can be great. Glute bridges can also help. Plus the variety in exercises can keep you mentally interested.
- Fuel properly – Eating the right stuff can also help your body be ready to handle the loads. If you don’t eat enough, you may find your strength declining!
- REST – Yep. If you want to hit the big numbers, you need to get enough rest. This means days off each week AND it also means adequate rest in between sets. If you don’t rest enough between sets, you won’t be allowing your body to get ready to lift even more weight the next set!
So follow these 10 tips and start building up to the big numbers!
So I’m not a fan of fitness magazines. They basically reuse the same old crap over and over again and just package it differently each time. (Hey sometimes they put in some “new” stuff…After it has become mainstream….For a year or so…)
BUT that doesn’t mean that I don’t like reading other fitness publications.
If you are a fan of learning and are a fan of finding the BEST way to get GREAT RESULTS, you may want to check out the blogs and videos provided by some of these innovators.
I probably go to this website at least once, ok probably twice, a day. I watch the videos to add new moves to my library (or remember moves I haven’t used in a while). I read the articles to find out what some of the great minds in the fitness field are doing.
Basically, I LOVE My Mad Methods. You may at first look through it and think, “Well I’m not a fighter or a strong man.”
BUT THAT DOESN’T MATTER! Think about the strength and mobility that both of those two professions need. Think about how functional their training is. So even though you aren’t a fighter or a strong man doesn’t mean you can’t implement some of those moves or workouts in a way that benefits you.
Plus they present a new way to do things that isn’t just the simple moves and bogus “tips” you find in fitness magazines.
I also like Nick Tumminello’s site and all of his videos. He works in more traditional fitness realms and even uses some of his incredibly innovative to help bodybuilders and fitness models. (See you don’t have to do the traditional fitness workouts to look AMAZING!)
Nothing crazy, but he does make you constantly think about movement patterns and the best, most efficient ways, to do things. He has created variations of the bird-dog, an oldie but goodie, and he as provided me with a variation of the deadlift, which I call the explosive deadlift rotation. Talk about a great way to develop explosive power while working on your deadlift, core strength and shoulder strength.
He has also provided me with two of my favorite moves – the Pivot Pulldown and the 1/2 squat, 1/2 deadlift. The Pivot Pulldown is probably my FAVORITE exercise to work the upper back and even improve lat strength (and your pull ups!). It is a great way for anyone to improve their posture!
I also love the 1/2 squat, 1/2 deadlift because it is a great way to work your legs (and even your back) with little impact on the knees. I think one of the hardest things is training people with knee injuries. THIS IS A PERFECT EXERCISE TO USE! Because the knee is just barely bending less strain is put on it! A great way to build leg strength if you have bad knees or even if you don’t! I also find it is a great way to teach beginners the RDL.
Anyway, there are more sites I could share, but those two are probably my favorites at this point in time so I’ll start you there. Not all of the information will be new, but that isn’t the point. Sometimes it is just good to read those sites because it reminds us of things we haven’t used in a while!
So now you have no excuse to not do a little research and learn something new. I know I always say that you should and now I’ve given you a couple great places to continue your learning!
What are your favorite fitness sites?
So I must say, I’m now spoiled by having a car.
No more long walks back to my apartment with huge heavy bags of groceries that make my forearms burn (sometimes it was a huge mental battle making it back to my apartment without setting everything down to readjust!).
But just because I don’t have long walks back with heavy groceries doesn’t mean working on my grip strength isn’t important.
BECAUSE IT IS!
It is essential to so many activities!
And I hate hearing people say they can’t deadlift more because their grip gave out.
You are only a strong as your weakest link!
So work on your grip strength!
Now you are probably thinking “How do I work on my grip strength?”
Here are 10 ways that you can strengthen your grip:
- Farmers walk – Walk holding heavy dumbbells (sort of like you are carrying super heavy groceries!)
- Fat gripz – Make the farmers walk harder by making the heavy dumbbell harder to grip. The fat grips don’t allow you to wrap your hand as easily around the grip.
- Hang and hold – You can hold at the top if you want to make it more difficult or hold at the bottom (you can even do knees to elbows if you want to work your core even more). The point is by hanging and gripping the bar, you will work on your grip strength. (You can do pull ups with so many different grips off of so many different things! You can even do them by just gripping with your finger tips!)
- Grip strange stuff – Ok not very specific. This could include doing pull ups by holding onto a rope or towel. It could include holding a weight hanging from a towel or rope. It could even include doing battling ropes. Doing work while holding something that isn’t perfectly fitted to your hand will challenge your grip strength.
- Plate carry – Like the farmers walk but using a “pinch grip” to hold plate weights as you walk.
- Rock climb – A workout in and of itself, there is no better (or in my opinion fun) way to work on your grip strength.
- Be patient – Seems simple! But it’s not! Try doing kettlebell swings for five minutes with a challenging weight. Don’t put the kettlebell down for the full five minutes! Your forearms will be on fire! You can also do a deadlift and then just hold the bar at the top for long periods of time.
- Rice – So a traditional way to work on grip strength, and something I did all the time at college, was grip exercises in a big bucket of rice. You take a bucket of rice and stick your hand deep down in it and squeeze. Your hand gets tired in no time! Another way I just learned, using the rice, is to take a dumbbell and stick it into the rice. Gripping one end of the dumbbell, twist the dumbbell as deep as you can into the rice. Added weight and rice….OUCH!
- Awkward weight – There is no better way to toast your grip and even your shoulder than by doing a bottoms up carry with the kettlebell. It takes a lot of grip strength to keep that awkward weight balanced!
- Roll up weight – So not something I use that often just because I feel like in general you get more bang for your buck with some of the other exercises, BUT if you have a little rod and attach a string and a light weight and “roll up the weight” you will really work on your grip strength!
For more great ways to strengthen your grip, check out these links (one is linked to the picture). John Brookfield is SO COOL!!
To look like on their wedding day….
Toned arms and shoulders, a slim waistline with just enough curve into toned hips, butt and legs.
How do most women get there?
By doing chronic cardio, starving themselves, and lifting light little barbie weights only a month before their wedding.
But is this really the best way to have the arms, waist and butt of your dreams on your wedding day?
If you really want to look lean and toned you can’t just do cardio and you most definitely can’t starve yourself.
You need to lift challenging weights, eat the RIGHT foods and start working toward the body you want early on.
I tell my clients (and plan to do the same myself) to plan to have reached their goal weight or body composition the week before their final fitting, which is only a month or so out from their wedding.
The last month or two should only really be maintenance.
The key throughout your workout progression toward you BIG DAY is to do compound movements. Don’t waste your time with the bicep curls, shoulder presses and tricep extensions that most programs recommend. While those can be good if you are a powerlifter looking to really isolate and strengthen weak muscles, those moves really aren’t giving you that much bang for your buck.
They don’t have a whole heck of a lot of calorie burn AND they are only working on one muscle group when you could be hitting 3 or 4 with a compound movement.
For instance….the deadlift…It works just about everything. Want a great backside? Want a toned upper back, butt and thighs?
Or any other powerlifting move for that matter. Or you can use kettlebells, resistance bands or the sled
There are a ton of different strength training things that you can do! Find some that are fun and that get you results efficiently AKA compound moves!
Also choose the compound moves that target your trouble areas.
While we can’t spot reduce areas, we can build up proper muscle tone to make our problem areas look better. Eating a healthy diet and later the added cardio we do during cutting will reveal that beautiful muscle we built up even more!
And while I LOVE lifting heavy and think that it is key to the body that you dream of having on your wedding day, cardio does become a more important part as you are trying to become more lean and toned.
That doesn’t mean you just stop lifting and start logging in tons of miles.
It means sprints, some long distance JOGS for some slow fat-burning cardio AND still an intense heavy lifting routine.
Of course once you up your intensity during the final few months before your last dress fitting, you will need to remember to take time to rest, foam roll and release some stress! Working out though can be a great way to make sure that you are still getting enough “me time” BUT that doesn’t mean you can just start living in a gym and not practice proper recovery!
10 Key Moves to Get the Body We All Want on our Wedding Day! (So many move I love, but these will give you a huge bang for your buck!)
- Deadlifts – Deadlifts are a full body move. They are perfect to tone your upper back, butt and hamstrings. Plus they are a real fat burner because they work so many big muscle groups! (I LOVE YOU DEADLIFTS AND MISS YOU!) One new explosive deadlift move I’ve started using is a rotational deadlift. I set up the bar in a t-bar row hold and put weight only on one end. So I deadlift up the end with weight and rotate toward the stand as I stand up. So if the weight is on the right as I stand up, I rotate to the left pushing the weight out and up until my arms are straight.
- Kettlebell Swings – Another great way to get a great toned hips, butt and thighs! This move may be just as good as the deadlift. It is, however, just a bit harder to master. Make sure that if you want the butt toning effects of the swing that you aren’t squatting down so much as doing a hip hinge! NOT A SQUAT! More of an RDL…but still not an RDL.
- Kettlebell Snatches – Another tough move, but a full body one. Develops explosive power, which means more muscle power! It is great to develop power in your legs, tone your core (lots of rotation and stabilization) and strengthen your shoulders.
- Pull ups – I LOVE PULL UPS or any variation of them! (You can even do a pull up and hang if you want some extra core work!) They tone your back, biceps and core! Get great arms while benefiting from the extra calorie burn of working a big muscle group like your back! (And a toned back looks pretty good in a strapless wedding dress!) Plus, if you strengthen your lats, they will help your waist look slimmer by creating more of an hour-glass figure!
- Push ups – Strengthen your chest, triceps and shoulders just to name a few muscles. Lifting heavy can sometimes just mean lifting yourself! If you want to make them even more challenging, make them explosive. As you push up, come up off the floor! They make the push ups that much harder.
- Medball Pass and Shuffle – Honestly, one of my favorite new moves. Cardio because of the shuffling back and forth. Plus it is a great move to develop lean POWERFUL muscles. Best when done with a partner. Perform a chest pass with a heavy medicine ball with a partner while shuffling down and back.
- Sled pull/push – So by pulling I mean pulling a sled toward you with a rope. Great leg, core, back and arm workout! And then if you push it back to its starting place, you get to work the entire posterior of your chain – everything from your shoulders down to your calves!
- Crawls and all variations – You can pull a chain, crawl on a power wheel, or crawl using sliders. How ever you do it, it is a great workout for your shoulders and legs. AND the more you keep you butt from going up in the air, the more you work your core. If you do use a chain, you can work your legs and butt even more. Or if you use a power wheel or sliders, you can focus more on your shoulders and core.
- Battling Ropes – A great way to get the lean ton muscles you want. Depending on which wave you make, you can focus on different muscle groups. You can work your back, your shoulders, your arms, your core and your legs. Shoot rotational waves kill your core!
- VersaClimber (or really any sprints) – These are a great way to maintain muscle and BURN TONS OF FAT!
Oh who cares!
Every other day you see a new news article about the Top 10 Healthiest Fish/Cereals/Fruits/Vegetables…But seriously…WHO CARES!?!
Yesterday I made a comment to Ryan about how someone was eating swordfish instead of salmon and that salmon was much better.
He said, “Yay but still…it could be way worse.”
“It could be way worse.”…SO TRUE!
Why are all of these news articles so focused on telling us what the healthiest of already goods food are? Why not focus on making people more aware of how bad vegetable oils and processed foods are!?!
It is almost like what I was saying about supplementation the other day. We worry about micromanaging our diets when our macronutrient intake is awful – we focus on what is the best of an already healthy food instead of at least getting people to eat the worst of a healthy food!
I mean really…If someone doesn’t eat fruit or vegetables, isn’t it way better that they eat bananas and iceberg lettuce than no fruits and vegetables at all? I know we could argue that berries and spinach are way better for you, but isn’t eating fruits and vegetables the most important part.
At least they are eating something non-processed with nutrients!
As Ryan said, “It could be way worse!”
So next time you want to tell your friend that iceberg lettuce isn’t as good as spinach, think about how many WORSE choices they could have made!
I love the Olympics. I love confident athletes. But you don’t have to act like a jerk. I almost always cheer for the American athlete, but I have to admit that I was cheering against Lochte. Anyone else find his attitude annoying? (That and he is definitely not good at interviews!)
- I’m so excited that we have a sled at the gym I’m now working at! It is a great tool to increase your leg strength and speed!
- I see people spend hours working on just about every part of their body, but their feet and ankles. BUT your feet contain about 25% of the bones in your body…Shouldn’t you be working on strengthening and making them more flexible since if they are weak or immobile they can cause altered movement patterns, muscle imbalances, pain and injury in other parts of your body!?! (Ok this isn’t good, but the exercises in this IR Blog post are!)
- Why am I not surprised that fit children do better academically?
- Why is there so much drama on the internet about female athletes and their bodies? Why can’t we talk about what they can DO instead of focusing on whether or not their weight makes them beautiful by society’s standards?!? And can I just say….I REALLY LIKE ZOE SMITH’S ATTITUDE!
The Simply Stupid
- Cameron Diaz is publishing a book about health and fitness!?! What does she know!?! AH!!!!! Does this scare anyone else
- I’m tempted to add a section called interesting because I don’t know how to react to the articles I’ve included below.
- Beetroot and Tart Cherry juice can improve performance….Ok….They are all-natural…now I wonder if they really work. AND if they do, would you drink them?
- I get why we want people to have nutritional certifications if they are providing nutritional advice. At the same time, we allow people to post all sorts of opinions and advice online that they aren’t necessarily certified to give…Do you think this regulation of bloggers providing nutritional advice is only occurring because mainstream society is afraid that if people realize that these Primal diets are better that the whole “low-fat lie” will crumble?