Are you the “workout-and-go” type with no flexibility in your routine?
If you add just four extra minutes to your workouts, your body will function better for every activity you do. Think about it, four minutes is just one more song added to your playlist!
Add these 5 exercises below for more joint mobility and efficiency of movement:
1. Hamstring Stretch (back of the thigh)
- You can stretch one leg at a time or both at the same time.
- Reach your heels away from you.
- Then push your tailbone back (opposite direction).
2. Hip Stretch
- Cross the right ankle over left knee.
- Reach through and grab hold of the back of your left thigh (you’ll feel the stretch through your right hip).
- For a deeper stretch, flex both feet (helps protect your ankle and knee) and hold your left shin.
- Keep pressing your tailbone down and your chest remains open.
3. Inner Thigh Stretch
- First, sit tall with your heels pressed together.
- Lean forward any amount that is comfortable.
- For a deeper stretch, press elbows down on your inner thighs.
4. Seated Side Bend
- Sit tall in a ‘V’ position and bend right knee in.
- Reach right hand up (palm facing away) towards the sky.
- Slowly side bend to the left, keeping your chest open towards the sky
- Focus on lengthening the right side of your torso and keep your right hip rooted down towards the ground.
- Don’t jam your spine.
5. Seated Twist
- Sit tall with your legs crossed.
- Which ever leg is forward, twist in that same direction.
- Chest is open and stay tall through the twist.
- Shoulders are pressed down away from your ears.
- Don’t jam your neck or spine - keep it easy.
Hold each stretch for at least 20-30 seconds and focus on your breath (don’t exaggerate your breathing). Don’t overstretch to the point of pain, this causes the muscle to automatically contract to protect itself. The point of stretching is to relax and elongate the muscle.
If you would rather do your stretches from a chair, then do stretches from this post here.
Special thanks to my little photographer. Here’s his self portrait…
We all get in workout habits that are hard to break. Not EVERY workout should be at a hardcore level 10 – mix it up! This is the key to keeping yourself injury free and to break through fitness plateaus. When you drop your intensity for a workout, it allows your body to recover more fully and makes you stronger for your next high intensity workout.
Your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is a 1-10 scale of how you feel at certain intensities. Think of RPE 1 as sitting down watching tv and RPE 10 is full-speed sprinting up a steep hill.
- Low intensity (can say at least 10 words without catching your breath) RPE 2-4
- Medium intensity (8-6 words) RPE 5-7
- High intensity (you can only say about 4 words before taking another breath) RPE 8-9
On a typical week this is what my fitness intensity looks like from day to day:
- Monday: High
- Tuesday: Medium
- Wednesday: Low
- Thursday: High
- Friday: Medium
- Saturday: Low to High (depends on how I feel)
- Sunday: Recovery Day
I usually do a low intensity walk or bike ride on Wednesdays, so that I’m ready for high intensity workouts on Thursdays.
Here’s my (pre-shower) morning walk from this past Wednesday below:
It’s nice to take things down a level and actually stop and smell the roses (or whatever else is in bloom right now).
Plan out your workouts from week to week - literally put them in your calendar. This will keep you motivated and your body will thank you!
Check out these fun (athletic-inspired) accessories I found on Etsy. When you buy from Etsy, you are buying directly from the artisan. It’s awesome!
Just thought I’d share a little glimpse of the weekend with you from my parents’ house…
No wonder I didn’t win – look at my form!
They had to figure out the order we were all going to go.
Checking out old friends on fb.
Thanks to the hubby for cooking!
All photos courtesy of my dad – love ya!
What did you all do this weekend?
If you have been performing modified push ups for a while (from your knees), it’s time to take it to the next level!
Do a full push up from toes down, modify it on knees coming back up .
Same rules on form as always:
- Keep your abdominals contracted in
- Shoulders retracted and depressed
- Neck in a neutral position
- Body in a straight line
- The picture shows tricep pushups with hands directly underneath shoulders. When you bend your elbows, they need to be right next to your sides.
- To focus on the chest, hands are positioned wider than your body.
- When pressing up, don’t lock out your elbows at the top of the move.
- If you press your legs together through the movement, it stabilizes your core more and may make it easier for you.
This exercise will work your chest, triceps, shoulders, and your core stability.
Summer’s coming! Time to buy a fresh outfit (or two or ten) for whatever you like to do! There’s stuff here for guys and gals.
Click on any photo to take you to item details/website listed on picture.
Hit’n the Gym?
Nike Epic Short Sleeve Training Crew (at Nike $60)
Nike Ace Crop Women’s Capris (at Nike $70)
Nike Advantage UV Stripe Mens Tennis T Shirt (at Nike $58)
Going for a walk?
Women’s Adidas NEO Hooded Jumpsuit (at Adidas $40)
Need to go faster?
Men’s Adidas Adizero Short Sleeve Tee (at Adidas $40)
Doing some yoga?
prAna Men’s Sutra Short (at prAna $60)
Head’n to the beach?
prAna Women’s Tavarua Bottom (at prAna $59)
prAna Ella Tunic Top Berry (at prAna $55)
prAna Men’s Sediment Short (at prAna $65)
Going on a hike?
prAna Alana Dress (at prAna $70)
Off to a dance class?
Ellie Back in Black Tank (at Ellie $49.95)
Remember to try new activities to keep you motivated! It helps prevent injuries also by challenging your muscles in different ways (aka cross-training).
It’s about having fun, being outdoors when you can, and getting healthy. Get your friends and family involved too!
What activities do you plan on doing this summer?
The Windermere Cup was this past weekend for the kickoff of boating season - so fun and perfect weather!
Here’s the results from the UW Husky Crew twitter feed…
- Men’s Windermere Cup Results: 1) UW 5:45.0 2) Cornell 5:57.1 3) Dartmouth 6:03.7
- Women’s Windermere Cup Results: 1) UW 6:35.6 2) Cornell 6:46.2 3) Dartmouth 6:57.3
Click here to follow: @UWHuskyCrew
Are you inspired to row?
I hope so! It’s such a great low impact, full-body cardiovascular exercise to incorporate into your fitness program.
I’ve tried the first two rowers below, (awesome). The last two I haven’t, but they have great reviews. Click on pictures to take you to Amazon for more details:
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine (at Amazon $900)
WaterRower A1 Home Rowing Machine (at Amazon $895)
Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower (at Amazon $602.48)
Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine (at Amazon $399)
Here’s a great video on common rowing form errors and tips on how to do it right: