Tuesday, April 7, 2015

15-20 min. at Home Total Body Strength Routine w/ Dumbbells

This is a quick routine with classic exercises. Do one set for each exercise. If you are feeling up for it and have the time, then you can run through this routine twice. 

Warm-up: 7-10 minute vigorous walk or on treadmill. Get heart rate up and a little sweaty. Walk at a moderate where you are out of breath, but can hold a conversation. 

Exercise #1: Lunge w/ bicep curl:
Holding dumbbells at your sides, step your left foot forward and bend your knees until your left thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Make sure you are putting pressure on your heel of the front foot and that you are bending the back foot. As you lunge, curl the weights in front of your chest, palms up. Reverse to return to start, then repeat with the right leg. That's one rep. Do 10 reps each leg 
Lunge w/ bicep curl.

Exercise #2: Squats w/ forward and side arm raises:
Hold dumbbells in front of body, legs wider than hip width distance apart, pull belly bottom and pelvis in and squat down pushing through your heels. When you squat you lift the arms forward, as you stand up arms release down. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times. Then hold dumbbells along side of body, as you squat lift arm out to the side. Repeat 10 times. 

Forward and side arm raise.

Lateral arm raise.

Exercise #3: Overhead lift:
See image. Make sure legs are hip width distance apart. Keep belly button sucked in, pelvis pulled in and push through heels. That's one rep.
Do 10 lifts.

Squat w/overhead lift.
Exercise #4: Overhead Tricep Extensions:
See image. Make sure legs are hip width distance apart, jeep knees soft and elbows pulled in toward face. Keep belly button sucked in, pelvis pulled in and push through heels. Do 10 extensions.

Overhead tricep extensions.

Exercise #5: Donkey Kick:
See image. Kneel on ground with knees underneath hips and hands under shoulders. Exhale as you lift your right knee, keeping your leg bent at 90 degrees, until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Press your foot up toward the ceiling until a comfortable extension. Inhale and return to start position. Do 10 kicks each leg. You can also add a knee lift out to the side (not shown). Repeat ten times each leg.
Donkey kicks.

Exercise #6: Kneeling opposites hold:
See image. Kneel on ground with knees underneath hips and hands under shoulders. Lift your right leg and left arm, stretching them out from your body and keeping them inline with your torso. Hold ten seconds and then switch, Repeat twice each leg. Remember to keep breath in the nose and out your mouth as you are holding your position.
Kneeling opposites hold.

End with a child's pose, happy baby pose and stretching.

Child's pose.
Happy baby pose.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tackling Your Fitness Bucket List: 30 Days Back to Basics Yoga Challenge

Ever wanted to try yoga, but were too intimidated by it? Maybe you think it's too touchy-feely, or not a decent workout. Maybe you feel you are not flexible enough, or you tried yoga once and it was awful. Maybe your afraid your feet will blossom like the tongue and cheek AFLAC commercial alludes to...

Rest assured yoga will not make your feet blossom and, indeed, yoga is a good workout for the whole body and mind. Here's why.

Yoga is a series of precise body-weight postures and movements that fall into the following categories:
  • Forward bends
  • Back bends
  • Balancing poses
  • Seated and twisting poses
  • Standing poses
  • Arm balance poses
  • Core poses
  • Inversion (Upside-down) poses
  • Restorative poses
There are almost an endless variety of balanced poses that work your entire body evenly, focusing on different goals to develop your strength, flexibility and agility. You also learn different breathing techniques in order to learn how to control and optimize your breath. One of the biggest "mistakes" a beginner exerciser (no matter what type of exercise they are participating in) makes is holding their breath. In yoga, learning how to breath with the poses is part of the process- nothing too touchy-feely about it. And each pose has both a beginner, intermediate and more advanced versions. Beginner poses which our challenge is based on can be done by anyone, while the intermediate and advanced poses take much practice and are the stuff that can intimate the pants off acrobats. So no worries, you won't be asked to wrap your leg around your head.

Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga allows you to work the whole body and focus on being in the moment, because you need to concentrate and focus on the pose you are working on in order to perform it properly and obtain the optimal benefits.

If you are like me and have tried yoga before and it just did not click, we encourage you to give it a go again. I did and found instructors that resonated with me and I learned to appreciate the many benefits yoga gives to the practitioner and now I LOVE yoga. That is not to say everyone who tries yoga again will learn to love it, but maybe you may obtain the many physical and mental benefits that I did too.  There are many forms of yoga and many yoga instructors out there that practice and instruct yoga in a way that may better mesh with you. You may even benefit from our 30 day Yoga Back to Basics Challenge.  30 days of beginner yoga poses with each day building upon the day before. At the end of 30 days you will have learned a grounding yoga sequence that focuses on total body strength, flexibilty and agility.

It will be fun so we encourage you to give a try! Namaste.