Chop It Off….

High to Low Chop

Move Targets: Core, Shoulders, Back, Legs/Thighs 

  • Start by standing with your feet wider then hip-width apart while holding a medicine ball directly over head, arms fully extended. Don’t lock out your elbows, can have a slight bend. Use a ball that is 5, 8 or 10 pounds (depending on fitness level)
  • Lower into a squat by sitting your hips back while simultaneously lowering the ball to your foot (in front of toes) while keeping your arms straight. Try to get as low into the squat as you can. (one rep)
  • Return to start by pushing through the heels and squeezing the glutes, repeat this move by lowering the ball to the other foot… continue alternating sides. 
  •  Aim for 14 to 20 reps and move through the reps quickly to up your heart rate and torch calories.  
  • Before starting any exercise program be sure to see your doctor first! 

Have A Ball….

Straight Leg Crunch With Medicine Ball

Move Targets: Primary rectus abdominus ~ AKA The 6-Pack

  • Lie face up on your mat legs fully extended, feet together and toes flexed.
  • Extend arms out straight above the chest holding a medicine ball with both hands on either side of the ball (3 to 8 pounds or substitute one dumb bell 3 to 8 pounds) 
  • Contract abs, lift your head, neck & shoulder blades off ground without allowing your back to come off the mat or your legs to move. Exhale as you lift your shoulder blades off the floor.
  • As you reach for the sky with the ball (arms stay straight) in tiny fast pulses. Exhaling each time you push the ball up. Don’t let your shoulder blades hit the ground in the pulses. 
  • Aim for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  • Really challenge your self after the above set, slow the movement down & shoulder blades can touch the floor push out 10 to 15 more reps. (slow)
  • Before starting an exercise program see your doctor first.

Monday Mad For

The Side Windmill

Move Targets: Shoulders ~ Back ~ Abs

  • Use light weight to start ~ 3 to 8 pound dumb bells or kettle bell. If just starting this move, use very light weights (3 pounds) or no weight at all until you master the move. 
  • Start by standing with your feet slightly wider then your shoulders, keep left foot straight, toes point forward ~ turn right foot out/toes out point out to side (this adds an extra element).
  • Arms should be extended out to the side at shoulder height
  • Slowly bend (lean) your torso to the right side while bringing your right arm toward the ground while your left arm heads toward the sky (keep body straight, don’t lean back or forward) 
  • Arms stay straight/immobile as you lean to the side
  • Hold for 3 counts 
  • Slowly come back up calling upon your core muscles to lift you back into position. 
  • Repeat ~ 3 sets of 8 to 10 each side
  • Before starting an exercise program be sure to speak to your doctor. 

Move and Groove

I like to run outside 3 to 5 times a week. Some days the runs can be longer then others (7 to 13 miles). For the most part I like to keep my runs in the 2 to 4 miles mark and here is why…..

The most efficient way to give yourself a really good workout is to remember it is not about how long you workout, but your intensity level. All you need is 25 to 30 mins of heart pumping cardio. There is no need to run or do any cardio for hours at a time. Did you know that your body can actually adjust to the same speed of your workouts? (this means any workout…then it is to easy….then we stop seeing results) I incorporate different speeds when running and I will jump, leap & skip in the middle of a run, if there is not something to leap over I pretend there is. With any plyometric move make sure you land softly on your toes. Some days I stop and do 10 jumping jacks & 10 push ups and proceed to take off running. (give it a try) Just keep mixing it up and confusing your muscles, they will work harder for you if you do.  

The songs on my iPod need to be fast, fun and make me want to run like the wind. Below are some of my favorite songs I like to rock out to while running, I hope they inspire you to lace up your shoes and hit the ground running. I have attached the links for your sampling pleasure. 

H’s Playlist

The Noisettes: Don’t Give Up

MIA: Xxxo

A Silent Film: You Will Leave a Mark 

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s: Heads Will Roll~Tommie Sunshine Remix

Anberlin: Impossible

Prodigy: Smack MY B#*&$ Up

Shiny Toy Guns: Burning For You 

Randy Boyer~Kristina Sky~Cari Golden: No Limit (Darude Mix) 

Vampire Weekend: Giving Up The Gun

MGMT: KIDS~Soulwax Remix

Beastie Boys: So What’ Cha Want

Bjork: Army of Me

Pharcyde: Passing Me By

Bloc Party: Flux

Chemical Brothers: Galvanize

Editors: End Has a Start

Madonna: Sorry~Paul Oakenfold Remix

Foster The People: Pumped Up Kicks

Vampire Weekend: Kids Don’t Stand a Chance~ Chromeo Remix

Sneaker Pimps: Spin Spin Sugar~Armand’s Garage Mix

Make Really BIG Strides by Taking Small Steps

Sometimes it’s just really minor investments towards a healthier lifestyle that pay off in the future.  Try these few small changes ……..

  1. This one may shock you, try walking over to co-workers office or cubicle, instead of sending email or instant messaging. That could be more than 1 pound that you lose a year!
  2. If you are going to eat chocolate bypass the milk kind; eat dark chocolate, (oh how I love thee) Dark chocolate boosts your immune system. Not one, but two flavonoids are found in that dark goodness. Catechins and Epicatechins….immune boosters!
  3. Try to eat two banana’s a day, this can lower your risk of stroke by 20%, Low potassium levels has been linked to strokes.
  4. Have a snack before dinner, sounds crazy but you can lose almost 4 pounds a year, having a fatty snack (not french fries or chips…eh em) avocado, nuts, peanut butter spread on half an apple about 8 to 10 minutes before a meal will make you feel full and you will eat less!
  5. Between exercises do 20 to 30 ab moves, this ensures that you actually don’t ignore your abs, no skipping here. If you had no time to get a work out in and need to work your abs, my favorite way to get my ab workout in, between commercial breaks while watching my favorite show!