workout

Workout Wednesday: Buff-tastic Arm Workout

Happy Hump Day! Call me Captain Obvious but it is officially tank top season. Shocker I know,  but ready or not its time to show off those arms. Here is a little arm workout that I find extremely helpful for toning arms and all you need are some 5 to 15 lb dumbbells to get the job done.


armworkout
Cardio:

  • Use this first 15 minutes as a warm up and a way to loosen your muscles. This can include brisk walking, jump roping, jogging, etc.

Skull Crushers:

  •  Lay on a workout bench (flat/declined) or flat on your back on the floor, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Using a barbell with the appropriate weight for yourself,  I would suggest trying 10 to 20 lbs, have your arms straight up above your shoulders.
  • Bend your arms at the elbows bringing the bar back towards your forehead and then back to the starting position.

Classic pushups:

  • Even though these are very traditional they still do the trick. Remember to keep your abs tight and booty down.

Two Point Rows:

  • Begin with your knees slightly bent and legs staggered with the right foot in front of the left.
  • Bend slightly forward at your hips keeping your back straight, place your right hand on a bench or surface that is roughly the same height as your knee.
  • Hold a 5 to 12 lb dumbbell in your left hand. Start with you left arm straight, hand below your shoulder, palm facing inward to your right leg.
  • Squeeze the weight up bringing your left hand to your rib cage and keeping your arm close to your body. Imagine there is a string connected to your elbow which is pulling it up to the sky.
  • Bring your arm straight down to the starting position.
  • Rotate your wrist so that your palm is facing back toward your left leg.
  • Lift the weight straight up imagining that the string is still connected to your elbow. Your arm will create 90 degree angle
  • Bring the weight down to the starting position. Alternate exercises between the two different forms. Then switch legs and feet putting your left leg in front, left hand on the bench and right hand holding the dumbbell.

Tricep Pushups:

  • Very similar to the classic pushups, begin in a plank position with your hands shoulder width apart. 
  • Lower your chest to the floor while keeping your elbows pointing straight back  and close to your body.
  • Push back up to the starting plank position.

Shoulder Raises:

  •  Hold 5 to 10 lb dumbbells in your hands and stand with your legs shoulder width apart. 
  • Keeping your palms down, bring your left arm straight out in front of you while you bring your right arm out to the side, making the letter ‘L’ with your arms. Be sure that your hands do not go past the height of your shoulders.
  • At the same time that you are lift your arms forward and to the side, lift up onto your toes. Be sure to keep your abs and butt tight while you do these calf raises.
  • Then bring your arms back down to your sides.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise, bring your left arm out to the side and your right are straight out in front of your while lifting onto your toes.

Hammer Curls:

  • Begin standing with your legs shoulder width apart while holding 5 to 15 lb dumbbells down by your side. Palms facing in.
  • Raise one dumbbell up so that your thumb meets your shoulder, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Bring the dumbbell back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat the exercise with the alternative arm.

Cardio:

  • End the workout strong with about 10 to 15 minutes of cardio. Maybe try the 10 minute living room cardio routine. 
  • Use the remaining 5 to 10 minutes bringing down your heart rate and cooling down.

And now you’re one step closer to tone tank top arms. Remember to always listen to your body, drink enough water and of course keep your head held high.

Workout Wednesday: Sweat Every Day 10 Minute Workout

We’ve all had those days or even weeks where life gets so hectic that we simply don’t have the time to exercise. We get so consumed in our work, school, chores and social life that we sacrifice our hard work, dedication, and health. But just because you can’t squeeze in an hour workout class doesn’t mean you have to opt out of working out completely.

Just think a short workout is better than no workout.

I am totally guilty of this. I would tell myself “you don’t have time to work out for an hour and a half, you won’t get a good workout in.” But I ended up paying for that in the long run. Trust me setting aside 10 minutes can really make a difference.

If you have time to listen to your three favorite songs then you have time to complete this workout. If this means waking up 10 minutes earlier for going to bed 10 minutes later, either way you’ll end up feeling better. Trust me.

10minuteworkout

Keep your head held high, listen to your body, and sweat every day.

Workout Wednesday: Jumping Rope

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. We are half way through the week and here is another workout…well sort of.

Lately I have been reading a lot about a very old school activity that almost all girls did in their early elementary years that is a great way to burn off calories. I thought what the heck, might as well try it so I went out and bought myself a jump rope.

No. Not a pink flowered one and I’m not jumping around singing nursery rhymes. I got just a standard fitness jump rope, some even have weighted handles which are pretty gnarly, and found out that the simple childhood pastime was a little challenging but worth it.

Cue Rocky theme song.

Jumping rope for 20 minutes can burn up to 200 calories, so I have been trying to incorporate this into my workouts when I want to avoid the gym. So far I am getting the hang of it but I am still trying to come up with a fancy routine to jump away the calories. I would still consider myself a beginner at jumping rope but here are some tips and a little routine for those who, like me, are new to this as a form of exercise.

Jump Roping Tips:

  • Make sure you stretch before you jump. Trust me on this one. Not only your legs but your arms as well
  • When jumping rope keep your knees slightly bent and land softly
  • Turn the rope using your wrists. Avoid using your shoulders or back to whip the rope
  • Keep your arms close to your body and at the height of your waist
  • Listen to upbeat music so you can maintain a rhythm and a fast pace

Jump Rope Routine:

00:00 – 02:00 Single Hop Jumps

02:00 – 04:00 Run in Place Jumps

04:00 – 06:00 Alternating jumps

  • Like Rocky, jump rope by putting one foot forward and then the other

06:00 – 08:00 One legged jumps

  • Jump on one leg for 30 seconds. Then switch to the other leg, alternate legs during the two minutes.

08:00 – 10:00 Side to Side jumps

  • Simply jump left to right

Rest.

Then repeat work out one more time

If you are a beginner like me, you may stumble on the rope and can’t continue throughout the entire two minutes. Don’t get discouraged and just keep going.

Pretty soon we will be jump rope masters with buff legs. Remember to listen to your body, stretch, eat enough good foods, and keep your head held high.

Workout Wednesday: 10 Minute Living-Room Cardio

It’s January, so that means everyone is feeling ambitious and heading to the gym to fulfill their New Years Resolutions. So once 5:00 pm rolls around you’ll be lucky to get into your favorite workout class or even few minutes on that broken workout machine. Then you’ll get frustrated, be tempted to throw in the towel and say “screw this I’m going home.” The next day rolls around and you dread going back to the smelly gym that you just opt to have a “rest day”. Before you know it a few days go by and your extra holiday love is back.

I am totally guilty of doing this, but don’t want to let the hustle and bustle of the crowded gym stop me from staying on track. The crowds will slowly disappear by March anyways. But in the mean time, why not squeeze in a little workout you can do in the comfort of your own home. No distracting ballerina man doing pirouettes between weight lifting machines.  Yes, this really happens at the gym I go to.

10 Minute Living-Room Cardio Workout:

00:00 – 00:30 – Run in place

00:30 – 01:00 – High Knees

01:00 – 02:00 – Jumping Jacks

02:00 – 03:00 – Burpees

  • Begin in a standing position
  • Squat down to the floor, bending your knees and placing your hands on the floor
  • Jump your feet back into a plank position
  • Jump back into the squat position and stand up. That’s one burpee

03:00 – 03:30 – Frog Jumps

03:30 – 04:30 – Step Hops

  • Stand facing stairs or a steady platform your can step up on, place your right foot on the step.
  • Jump up, bringing your left knee to your chest and extending your arms above your head. Keep your back straight.
  • Step down into the starting position, both feet off the step. Continue alternating the left and right leg.

04:30 – 05:30 – Army Crawls

05:30 – 06:30 – Rest!

06:30 – 07:00 – Jump Lunges

  • Lunge the right foot back
  • Jump, switching legs in the air so that you land with the right foot forward in a lunge.
  • Alternate to right and left leg lunges. Keep your knees soft and land softly.

07:00 – 08:00 – High Knees

08:00 – 09:00 – Jumping Jacks

09:00 – 10:00 – Jog in place

Only ten minutes, and your heart rate will be up and you’ll be burning some calories. Keep in mind to always listen to your body.

Let’s be strong, happy and healthy this new year. Keep your head held high.

Workout Wednesday: All I Want for Christmas Are Some Rock Hard Abs

….now I know this won’t happen by Christmas but a girl can dream. As I dramatically explained yesterday how the holiday stress is getting to me and there seems not to be enough time in the day, I am forcing myself to not let my health and physical activity be jeopardized for my procrastination. That’s way easier said than done.

I know this time of year is the hardest time to stay focused on exercising and eating right but I figure as long as I do something to get my heart rate up each day, even if it is just for 5 minutes, that’s better than nothing at all, right? So while we are in the kitchen waiting for all the cookies and dessert to bake, why not drop down and do some sits up or pushups right there in the kitchen? That’s at least 15 minutes of free time. Or do one exercise in between each present you wrap. I am determined to make time during the hustle and bustle.

Lately I have been taking a PiYo class with a friend every week and I am absolutely in love with it. I would highly recommend trying this class out at your local gym. It focuses on balance, flexibility, and strength. Some of abs workouts described below are taken from this class.

Army Crawls and Mountain Climbers

Tip: Try to always keep your butt down and back straight

  • Begin in the plank position. Booty down!
  • Bring your right knee to your right elbow. Then back to the plank position.
  • Bring your left knee to you left elbow. Continue alternating same knee to same elbow keeping your back straight. Do 4 reps.
  • Still in the plank position, bring your right knee in between your arms as close to your chest as possible.
  • Then alternate bringing your left knee in between your arms and to your chest. Do 4 reps.
  • Next, remaining in the plank position cross your right knee to your left elbow. Return to the plank
  • Then alternate crossing your left knee to your right elbow. Do 4 reps.
  • Do this entire sequence all together. Rest and repeat all three exercise continuously 3 more times.
  • Make it harder: when doing the last movement of crossing your knee to the opposite elbow, do a triceps push up as you bring your knee to your elbow.

Side Plank Twist

Tip: Squeeze your butt throughout the entire workout

  • Begin in the side plank position by laying on your right side, elbow on the floor in line with your shoulder. Stack your feet on top of each other facing out. Hips should be in line.
  • Squeeze butt and hips lifting your hips off the ground, forming a diagonal line from your shoulder to your feet. Lift left arm up above your shoulder
  • Bring your left arm underneath your body while rotating your body towards the floor.
  • Rotate back out lifting arm over your shoulder to the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times keeping abs and butt tight.
  • Try 3 sets.

Reverse Crunches

  • Lay on your back, hands behind your ears and elbows out in a starting sit-up position.
  • Bring your knees up so they are directly above your hips
  • As you crunch up bringing your shoulder blades off the ground, bring your knees towards your head.
  • Relax down to the starting position, still keeping your up and above your hips.
  • Repeat the crunch 10 to 15 times. Rest and try 3 more sets of 10 or 15 crunches.
  • Make it harder: Hold medicine ball under your knees, squeezing it in place as you bring your knees to you for each crunch.

I hope you find these ab workouts as useful as I do. We are already half way through the week, so let’s keep calm, focused, and our heads held high.