Fitness Friday, Lifting

Fitness Friday: Lower Body Dumbbell Complex

I have a slight obsession with lower body exercises and complexes. When I can combine the two, I get a little giddy inside.  Complexes are perfect for building muscle and decreasing fat in a short amount of time.  You’ll do the below exercises back to back with 30-60 seconds rest before starting another round.  Move fast but don’t forget to keep good form here.

  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • 10 Romanian Deadlifts
  • 10 Curtsey Lunges (each leg)
  • 10 Bulgarian Split Squats (each leg)
  • 10 Bridges with dumbbell on stomach (hold for 2 seconds at the top)

*Repeat for another 2-3 times with 60 seconds rest in between each round.

Another fun way to do complexes is to start with 10 reps and each round drop a rep. For example Round 1: complete all exercises at 10 Reps. Round 2: complete all at 9 reps.  You’ll work your way all the way down to one rep, with 60 seconds rest in between each round.

 

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Fitness Friday, yoga

Fitness Friday: Rainy Day Slow Flow Yoga

This week has been nothing but rain for the Philadelphia area and all I want to do is get on my mat and move ever so slowly. This flow is meant to do just that.  Take your time with it, find the slow dance, the pauses in between each transition and the space for your own creativity with each asana (pose).

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Rainy Day Slow Flow Sequence

Warm-up

Cat/Cow with your own variations

Sun A x 2

Sun B x 1

Flow

Modified side plank with right knee down first

-Lift left leg and catch ankle for a heart opener

Gate Pose

Lunging half split over left leg (facing back of mat)

Low lunge with left leg forward

Standing Split (right leg lifts)

Cresent Lunge (left leg forward)

Humble Crescent Lunge

Lizard

Skandasana to front of mat

-Vinyasa to other side

 Closing

Supportive Butterfly Pose (hold for three – five minutes using props)

Legs up the wall

Savasana

 

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Fitness Friday, lifestyle, Lifting

Fitness Friday: 5 Exercises That Make You Feel Badass AF

You know the scene of any action movie after a huge explosion, and the main character walks away with just a little sweat, maybe a scrape under their eye, some dust on their shirt, but their hair still on point. They are feeling Badass AF.  That’s how these exercises below make you feel. Ok, I might be exaggerating a little bit but in all seriousness you’ll feel straight up strong.

Farmer Carries

I just started doing these to help build up my grip and forearm strength but dang these are awesome. Grab heavy dumbbells or kettlebells in each hand, pull your shoulders down your back and have a nice strong posture and just walk.  Seems easy but soon your forearms will start screaming and your fingers will start slipping.  For me, as someone who holds all of my stress in my shoulders and traps, this feels amazing with the weight pulling my shoulders down.  So go grab something heavy and get to walkin’!

farmer

Skull Crushers

If the name doesn’t make you feel badass enough, after your done these you’ll walk around feeling big AF. You know those people who hold their arms out way too wide because they think their muscles are gigantic? That will be you in the best way possible.

skull

Kettlebell Snatch

There is something so powerful about snatching some heavy weight from the ground to above your head. At first glance it seems so easy, but at a deeper look, there are so many specifics and tiny details to getting the snatch down. And that is what makes this badass AF.  It’s all in the details.

sntach

Renegade Rows

So you’re in plank, which can be challenging all in itself, and then your lifting a dumbbell or kettlebell up with one hand in a row position. This is ninja warrior level badassness.  Core strength, upper body strength, mental focus, balance…it’s all there.

Deadlifts

I saved the best for last. Deadlifts are the ultimate badass exercise.  Nothing feels as badass as being able to lift a bunch of weight with such precision as the deadlift allows.  And quite frankly, if you’re a girl and you go to a typical commercial gym, you’ll surprise the hell out of high school boys who think girls can’t lift heavy.

lift

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Face Your Fears Like a Kid

fullsizerenderLike many of you are familiar with, this week was the start of a new school year. I was lucky enough to be able to get my 6 year old niece ready for her first day of 2nd grade.  Like all new beginnings, she was nervous.

She normally isn’t the nervous type; she’ll walk up to any kid and ask to play, she’ll dance ballet and tap in front of a hundred people and she’ll even tell adults to face their fears and congratulate them when they do. So it was weird to see her nervous about starting school.

Secretly, I was watching her and learning from her. I noticed these three main steps and even used them this week when I was faced with a situation that I was extremely nervous about.

Step One: Zone Out.  She knew the bus came at 8:00, so for the downtime we had in the morning she didn’t want to talk to me or do anything except zone out.  She watched tv and kept her mind off of what she was nervous about.

Step Two: Tell your peers you are nervous.  We walked to the bus stop and shortly after saying hi to the friends she knew, she giggled and told them she was nervous.  I’m pretty sure they all sighed with relief knowing that they were all nervous and in it together.

Step Three: Go for it. When the bus came, she didn’t even say goodbye to me, she just ran right up to the opened doors.  No delaying the inevitable, she just went for it and didn’t look back (until of course I called her name to take her picture).

She taught me that sometimes we need to take things back to nature. Back to when we were a kid and did things the way we felt like they needed to be done and not the way society has taught us.

Get back to your inner child and do what feels natural to you.

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