Total Core

All movement comes from your core – even movement from your feet is connected to the middle of you. Without a strong core your body is operating at a loss. Here’s a workout to make your core strong and ready for anything.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Core Starts

  • Dead Bug – Lying on Back (supine) bring knees up over the hips, bent at 90 degrees. Stretch arms out above your shoulders. Lower one foot and the opposite arm to the ground. Lift and repeat on the other side. Work to keep the abdomen strong and the lower back pressed into the floor. To make it harder straighten leg as you lower the foot, and then increase difficulty by hovering the leg and arm just above the ground before lifting back up.
  • Alternating Crunches – hold medicine ball in hands, feet high/above hips. Lift the shoulders off the ground as you bring the medicine ball to the outside of one thigh. Alternate sides
  • Full Stretch Sit-ups – place medicine ball between feet on the floor, knees bent. Sit up and grab medicine ball, roll down bringing the medicine ball above head to the floor with straight arms.
  • SuperMans – laying prone (on your stomach) on the floor, stretch your arms out in front of you. Lift one arm and the opposite leg off the ground. Alternate sides
  • Locust Lifts – lay prone with arms outstretched above your head. Lift both legs and arms off the floor at the same time. Hold briefly and lower.

Medicine Ball Plank Set

  • Stability Plank – place both hands on the medicine ball beneath chest. Hold in high plank position for 30 seconds. Rest. Repeat.
  • Medicine Ball Pike Rolls – Place both feet on the medicine ball. Lift from the hips and roll into a pike position. Return to plank position.
  • Quadruped (on all fours) Crunches – Lift and extend one arm and opposite foot. Stretch to move the hand and foot as far apart as you can while keeping the core tight, belly button pulled up to the spine, and hips level.
  • Reverse Table Top Hold – turn over, place hands behind butt on the floor, fingers pointing away from the body. Feet flat on the floor knees bent. Lift hips up and try to flatten out front of body. For extra challenge aim to straighten legs and point toes or place toes on the medicine ball and hold for stability up level.

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Be More Human

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Body Weight and Machine Cardio Blast

Ready to hit the gym and need to let go of some steam? This workout will blast through any stress you have hanging around. You’ll leave feeling strong, powerful, and ready to take on the world.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Workout Warm Up Movements – Do 10 to each side

  • Arm Circles
  • Elbows Jabs (up and back) with core rotations – pay attention to pulling the bellybutton toward the spine and allowing movement through the torso without straining the spine.
  • Diagonal Front Arm Raise with Unweighted Squat – knees over ankles & butt back, like you are using a porta-potty at a music festival and determined not to touch any surfaces or soil yourself 🙂

Body Weight Set 1 – repeat the list 3 times for 30 seconds each movement

  • 180 Jump Squats
  • Froward / Backward Jumps
  • Leg Overs
  • Lateral Walking Pushups

Machine Set 1 – 1 minute as fast as you can

Treadmill Hill Climb – set incline at level high enough to maintain your target heart rate at 60-70%

Body Weight Set 2 – Repeat the list 3 times for 30 seconds each movement

  • Power Burpees
  • Plank Clocks to each side
  • Jumping Lunges
  • Side Plank Drops
  • Lateral Shuffle
  • 1 Leg 4 Square Hops

Machine Set 2 – 1 minute as fast as you can

Cross Trainer / Elliptical – Set level to maintain 60-70% target heart rate

Body Weight Set 3 – Repeat the list 3 times for 30 seconds each movement

  • Oblique Crunch Right Side
  • Center Sit Ups
  • Oblique Crunch Left Side
  • Boat Pose 30 Second Hold
  • Quadruped Knee to Opposite Elbow – Alternate sides

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!


Finding a Workout Tribe

Working out alone has its benefits and its struggles. Many people prefer working out with a tribe.

Find your tribe by considering what type(s) of workouts do you like to do? What time of day? Where – inside, outside, a class, a small group? Then begin participating in the activities you like where others who like the same activity are.



At first it may feel awkward and weird – remember you might the new person in class, however stick with it and give relationships a little time to develop. It’s also important to put yourself out there at times.

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If you are hanging in the corner making it impossible for others to get to know you, guess what – they won’t. Make sure you smile, make eye contact, and say hello on a regular basis. Making friends takes time and hopefully your time for socializing is limited by the time and effort you put in sweating.

Here’s a little help in case making new friends is the tough part.

If you liked this post try these: engaging your family and friends in your workouts or What to consider when choosing a workout partner.

12 Min of Yoga For Depression

More and more research is being done on yoga for depression and anxiety. These studies continue to show that yoga can be part of an effective depression management program. The video “The Science Behind Yoga” discusses a variety of benefits yoga practitioners experience.

In a study done by Uebelacker et al. (2017), the authors found that yoga class participants not only reduced depression symposiums but also kept them off at a 3 and 6 month follow up while increasing mastery in social roles.

In my depression management skills group we’ve had a number of discussions about finding healthy ways to cope with depression while working with low levels of motivation. Our group determined that having a few videos to do in the privacy of their home would be a helpful start. Here are a some videos to get you started.

12 Min of Yoga for Depression

5 min Yoga to Ease Depression

Mindful Chair Yoga: Beginner Practice

Feel like it’s time to invest in some gear? Ready for a mat? Blocks? A strap or 2? Check out these products and see what might make your practice more comfortable and more enjoyable. Because we both know when it comes down to it these are the 2 things that will actually get you to DO your yoga practice!

 

Interested in more topics like this? Try these articles from past posts:

Looking to better understand the body and mind connection? Try: Body Mindfulness

Or how our bodies need to stretch to stay healthy? Try:  Flexibility Training

Just looking for more ways to move today and beat depression symptoms? Try: 10 Ways to Move Your Body Today.

 

Reference: Uebelacker LA, et al. (2017). Adjunctive yoga v. health education for persistent major depression: a randomized controlled trial. Psychol Med.m, Apr 6:1-13. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717000575. [Epub ahead of print]

Featured Image Photo: Getty Images / 7 Ways to Ease Into Yoga – aarp.org

How to Stretch Effectively

Photo Credit: www.Sunlighten.com   

Many people fail to stretch because they just don’t know how. The basics of flexibility are easy and once you get them down begin adding them into all your workouts for maximum benefits. Stretching may seem mild in comparison to your normal workout but don’t forget to stretch your muscles will thank you.

When you begin flexibility training start slow. Begin by holding stretches for 15-30 seconds at the point you feel tension in the muscle. Do not bounce as you hold these stretches, you’ll run the risk of hurting muscle tissue. We have a built in response system for muscle tension, and bouncing can damage muscle tissue by moving it beyond the threshold too quickly. Stretch all muscles you worked.

Try foam rollers to help you relieve soreness and deepen your stretches.

Many times stretching can help soreness. There are many theories surrounding muscle soreness, but stretching seems to relieve it. Begin by moving around or taking a hot shower or bath, allowing blood to reach muscle tissue, stretch muscles that are sore using the above guidelines, and feel better.

Remember: 

Warm Up Your Muscles
Start Slow
Move to the Point of Tension
Hold for 15-30 Seconds
Repeat Stretches 2-3 Times Per Muscle Group
AND Don’t Ignore Your Flexibility Training!