Say Yes to That Strapless Dress

 

90 Degree Chest Fly

TARGETS: Shoulders, Upper Back, & Chest 

  • Start by standing with one foot in front of the other about 6 inches apart, slight bend in the knee. You have two options with this move, you can stand or you can do alternating lunges which will make it harder (of course you want to be more efficient!) hold a pair of 5 to 8 pound dumbbells with your arms bent 90 degrees, elbows raised close to shoulder height. Slightly higher if you choose to do the progression – shoulder press.
  • Squeeze your chest and bring your elbows together in front of your body at shoulder height. Open them back to the start and repeat this move for 1 minute or you can do 3 to 4 sets of 12 reps.
  • To make this move even harder (oh yes you can take it another step) The progression…do a shoulder press than bring the elbows back to starting point, open to a fly and repeat. (first photo you can see elbows up higher to move into the press) 
  • Don’t be afraid to add the progressions I have mentioned above if your fitness level allows for it.  Each time you change your workout you confuse your muscles and they in turn will work harder torching calories and unwanted fat. 
  • Before starting any exercise routine see your doctor first! 

 

Jiggle Free Friday….

Deep Swimmers Press 

Say goodbye to that arm jiggle! This exercise is awesome for targeting multiple muscle groups at once, (back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and core) it is one of the most effective and efficient ways to get results without spending hours at the gym. This version is with an outer bicep curl and a high V shoulder press (aka wide shoulder press) 

Start
Next ~ Outer Curl
Bottom of Press ~ W
Top of Move ~ The V or Wide Shoulder Press
  1. Using lighter weight 5 to 8 pounds, start by standing feet shoulder width apart, arms at sides with palms facing out holding a dumb bell in each hand curl up and to your side as shown.  Try to keep your arms pinned to your sides as much as possible when curling.
  2. Push the dumbbells up into the bottom of a shoulder press in the W position by rotating your arms and palms so they face away from your body (as shown) Now press up into a wide V.
  3. Slowly lower the weights back down into the W bottom of the again rotating the palms now toward you, than slowly bring the arms back down to repeat the move.
  4. There is a lot to think about in this exercise, a tad more difficult than a normal swimmers press, Take your time and do not speed through this move. Remember that mind and body connection are important, take the time to think about the muscles you are working.
  5.  Perform a total of 10 repetitions for each set with a total of three sets.
  6. Remember before starting any diet or exercise program see your doctor first!

Plank ~ Alternating Leg Lift

Plank with Alternating Leg Lift

I know the thought of doing a plank for some is like being forced to hang out in room with stinky cheese, but it really is one of the most effective ways to train your abs, back, arms and legs. The best part of it all… you only need your own body weight. No gym or fancy equipment required… no expensive celebrity trainer DVDs… just you and the floor!

The plank (AKA hover) which is used in Pilates and Yoga is a pivotal isolation move that provides a variety of benefits from targeting your internal abdominal muscles to strengthening the lower back while improving your stability and balance. In this variation the legs have been added in. By lifting each leg you are now working the glutes and call upon the core muscles to work even harder to stabilize your entire body. One of my favorite moves! I incorporate this move in some variation in almost all my clients workouts.

  • Get into the top of a push up position, (you can also do this move with your forearms on the ground) elbows directly under your shoulders and arms should be extended the entire time.  Your legs will be extended straight behind you, feet hip-width apart. You want your body to be in as straight of a line as possible, shoulders to your ankles, and your core should be braced.
  • Keeping your hips parallel to the floor, squeeze your glutes, quads and abs to raise your right foot a few inches into the air, fight the urge to rotate the hips and torso as you lift each leg.
  •  Hold for two to three seconds, than lower your foot. That’s one rep. Repeat with your left foot. Continue alternating for 12 to 14 total reps.
  • As always, see your doctor first before starting any exercise or diet regime!

Just Bowl With It…..

Bowling

What it Works: Core, Obliques, Shoulders ~ Lats, Biceps, Triceps, Legs ~ improves balance and co-ordination while building lean muscle.

  • Be sure and use a medicine ball that is the correct weight for your level. I am using an 8 pound ball. This is a stabilization move so you need to control the movement and not let the ball fall out of your hand or knock you over.  5 to 10 pound medicine ball is suggested. Do not fly through this moves, take the time to feel the muscles working. 
  • Knees slightly bent and your butt slightly out. Legs about shoulder width apart. You want to pull the abdominal muscles up and in almost in a slight concave “c” position.  
  • Hold the ball out in front of you with your right hand as in the first picture shown. Now pull your right arm behind you like you are going to bowl. 
  • Without pitching forward or falling over bring the ball back up in front of your chest meet with the other hand and transfer the ball pulling the left hand behind you. 
  • This is a continuous movement. Do not twist your entire body to the side, you will feel your abs working hard to stabilize you. To help with your balance put your hand out as I have shown. 
  • I like to do a slight squatting motion with this move each time I pull the ball behind me. Want to make it even more challenging? Once you master the move add a slight tap to the back with the leg on the same side that is bowling. So tap right leg as right arm bowls. 
  • Do this move for 1 minute  ~  2 to 3 sets incorporating cardio/plyo bursts for 2 to 3 minutes in between.  
  • As always see your doctor first before starting any exercise program. 
 

Plank & Opposite Knee/Elbow Touch

Plank
Plank ~ Bringing Knee To Opposite Elbow

Plank With Opposite Knee/Elbow Touch

Targets: Abdominals, Deltoids, Hip Flexors, Obliques, Pectorals, Triceps. 

Let’s face it… ab crunches are boring and tedious and when you lay down on the floor you just kind of want to stay there…  Most regular ab crunches work our muscle fibers in only one direction anyway (yawn) Not to mention studies show that for some individuals regular crunches may have an adverse affect and actually cause our tummy muscles to protrude ( um, no thank you!) I enjoy core work that requires as little  crunching as possible or if I am doing crunches my legs are straight out in front of me. I like to get as much bang for the buck so to speak when working out, so I will gladly do a move that challenges my other muscles. Come on.. try something a little harder and take a challenge. The Plank is a full body work out by itself, add more elements to it and ta DA!  Even if its only 4 reps, give it a try…  master the move at your own pace. Just remember you are doing something good for yourself (even if it does not feel so good at the time) 

  • To get started find your way into plank position, hands directly beneath your shoulders. Make sure you are in a straight line and your rear end is not up in the air.
  • Now lift your left foot a few inches of the ground (5 to 6 inches) then bend your left knee and bring it toward the inside of your right elbow or as far as your range of motion allows maybe it is your opposite wrist. (your range of motion will get better with practice) The goal is to bring the knee to touch the inside of the elbow. 
  • There will be a slight twisting as you bring your knee to your opposite arm. Try and keep your rear end down and maintain proper form. 
  • Repeat this motion now on the other side bringing your right knee toward your left elbow. Try this move for 30 seconds to 1 minute alternating each side.
  • This is a continuous movement, however do not speed through the move.  Remember to breath. (most important)
  • Before starting any exercise program see your doctor first!