Workout Wednesday- Good for the hips!

This workout requires some dumbbells  light ones are just fine, but if you’ve got a few sets, switch between them as you need. Do you listen to your body as you workout? Do you push to a point of fatigue? No one is going to do it for you, you have to do it yourself and the hard part is that only you know that point. Challenge yourself to learn a workout and then learn to push harder each time you do it. My favorite quote related to fitness is:

Warm up:

Side step squat & dumbbell pull down: start with feet hip width apart and parallel, take your arms overhead with dumbbells in hands. Step out to a wide squat position with your right foot, and pull your elbows down toward your hips. Step back together pressing the weights back to the ceiling, repeat stepping to the left. Alternate sides for 60 seconds. (This can be done without weights, or be made into a squat jack by jumping out to the squat position)

Mountain climber for 30 seconds

Plie & Row: Stand with feet wider than your hips, toes turned out toward a 45 degree angle, (full turnout is not needed) palms face your body as you plie down bringing your hips down toward knee level. Keep head & chest up, imagine you are sliding down a wall. As your press through your heels to come back to standing, draw the weights up toward your chin, bringing your elbows up to shoulder height. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Mountain climber for 45 seconds

Hook to 90 degree fly: Start standing with feet hip width apart and parallel, dumbbells in hand, elbows at 90 degrees at your sides. Step your right foot behind you and hooked toward the left side of your body so that you get a stretch through your left hip. As you step your feet back together, lift your elbows up to shoulder height, knuckles point straight forward. Repeat x15, then switch sides

Shoulder sequence: Stand with feet hip width apart and parallel, soft knees, abs tight, elbows at 90 degrees at shoulder height. Flip up to goal posts and back to knuckles forward. x15 Hold up in goal posts (knuckles to ceiling) and pull your elbows to your hips, press back up to bring elbows to shoulder height x15 Hold up in goal posts and squeeze your shoulders back x15

Mountain climber for 60 seconds

Bridge sequence: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat and hip width apart or slightly wider. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up toward knee height (keep focus on glutes) x15 Hold lifted at top and pulse higher x15 Hold hips high and extend your right leg up to the ceiling, lower hips toward the floor and lift back up x15 Hold hips high and pulse higher x15 Repeat with left leg extended up.

Bring knees to chest to stretch out low back and hips

Bicycle for 60 seconds

Triceps sequence: Bring knees bent and feet flat, arms extend to ceiling with weights in hands. Hips can come lifted up off the mat slightly to engage glutes. (they can also rest if you need a rest!) Keeping elbows tight toward each other and pointed straight to the ceiling, lower your weights toward your ears and press straight back up (for this to be most effective, elbows stay in the same position and merely bend to lower the weights the more additional movement, the less you are concentrating on the back of the arms) x10, Hold at halfway so elbows are at 90 degrees and take tiny pulses up x10 Come back to full range of motion x10 Hold at halfway and squeeze your elbows toward each other x10 Last 10 full range of motion

Bicycle for 90 seconds, last 30 seconds as fast as you can go while still controlling the movement.

Need modifications? Pictures? Video? Shoot me an email and I’d be happy to post them!


Workout Wednesday- Body Weight Only, Total Body Circuit

Please remember to email me if you need modifications or for a mere $5 I will be happy to make you a video you can keep forever 🙂

Inchworm: Stand feet hip width apart and parallel, take a deep breath and reach for the ceiling, exhale and fold forward reaching for your toes. Bend your knees enough to bring your hands to flat and walk your hands out to a plank position. Keeping your elbows tight to your rib cage, take one push up and walk your hands back to your feet. Come all the way to standing and repeat x10 (if you are more advanced, take two push ups at each walk out, need to modify, put your knees down for your push up)

Extended Down Dog Push Up: Come into a down dog position, tilt your finger tips toward each other slightly, extend one leg up to ceiling. Bend your elbows bringing the top of your head down toward your mat and extend. Repeat x10 with each leg extended.

Plie: Come to standing with your feet wider than  your hips and turned out to about a 45 degree angle (full turnout is not needed!) hands can be wherever you need them to be-even at a chair or countertop for balance. Take 20 plie’s at full range of motion, bring your hips to knee height (you should have a straight line from knee to ankle at your lowest point) hold the last one at your lowest point and pulse lower x10, hold low and press your knees back x15.

Down dog to plank kicks: Come back to your down dog position, extend your right leg to the ceiling, as you exhale, shift forward to your plank drawing your knee to your right elbow and then kick back to ceiling drawing your abs in tighter to help lift your hips. Repeat x10, then take another set taking your right knee to your left elbow threading under your body x10. Rest into childs pose and repeat on the opposite side.

Reverse lunge kick up to standing splits: (don’t worry, I don’t expect you to actually get into standing splits 🙂 you just want to get your back leg as high as you possibly can to engage more muscle groups) Come to standing with your feet hip width apart and parallel, step back into a runners lunge with your right leg, reach your hands in front of your left foot about 6 inches as you straigten your left leg and reach your right leg as high to ceiling as you can. Step right back into your runners lunge with your right leg. Repeat x15 on each side.

Table top Push Ups: Come to seated and take your hands behind your hips, your feet hip width apart and parallel. Lift your hips up as high to ceiling as you can. Bend your elbows to bring your hips back to hover over the floor and press back up x10, hold the last one as low as you can and take tiny pulses x10 (think little bend, little press, instead of full range of motion) then take x10 more full range of motion, end with x10 more tiny pulses.

Side plank hip lift: Come to a side plank on your elbow. Feet can be stacked or heel to toe. Lift your hip higher x20 repeat on the opposite side.

Single leg jack knife: lay flat on your back, arms overhead, or hands behind your head elbows wide to challenge. Take a deep breath and as you exhale come to seated bringing your right leg to your chest, slowly control back down.Alternate sides, focus on drawing your abs into your spine with every movement. Do them until you want to die….. just kidding, 60 seconds 🙂

Try to repeat the entire sequence, start to finish 3x through.

Trying to be well, fit & sane….while pregnant

Hello! I’ve been away for some time from my blog. We got married, we got stuck in a hurricane on our honeymoon in September and fast forward to Christmas, we found out I was having a baby. It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. I spent most of 2014 trying to get my body to be well enough to enjoy my wedding. My chronic migraine treatment was intense. Then as soon as we got home from our wicked and wonderful retreat to Mexico, where I was forced to wean off many medications due to being stranded without them (or power, or running water….) I went off all medications completely. I’ve always wanted children. My mom had a horrible time getting and staying pregnant and I always assumed the same would be true for me. I am 30 years old, let’s take out the goalies and see what happens we said! It will probably take awhile we said! Ha! We were blessed ever so quickly with the news that a baby girl was going to join us by our first wedding anniversary.

Like many chronic migraine sufferers, I dreamed of a reprieve during pregnancy. That has not been the case. I am hyper mobile in most joints- I have never been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos officially but that is what my current doctor is leaning towards. The hormones in pregnancy have made most of my issues worse, not better. My joints are ‘slipping’ out of place easier, I’m seeing the chiropractor every 2 weeks instead of every few months and my migraines, although less frequent/severe, still come. Sigh.

My workouts have had to change. I still teach but no longer as much. I am currently teaching 2 barre, 3 yoga, and one bootcamp regularly. I can no longer do the majority of the bootcamp. I found that my hips would come out of place. Barre, with its small isometric movements has been my best option.

I am frustrated to say the least. I am taking magnesium to help with headaches and when absolutely necessary having tylenol, a cup of coffee, and ice pack and rest….. but for all you migraine sufferers out there, you know how little that actually does.

I am angry with myself. I wanted to be pregnant and have a baby for so long in my life that I told myself I would always enjoy it, no matter how dreadful pieces can be. And I’m failing at that. My first trimester was miserable with nausea that wouldn’t quit, could wake me from my sleep. Now my second trimester almost finished, I am striving to just find joy in each day… which is her- her kicks usually or spending time in her baby room trying to find simple ways to make it beautiful. I’m getting pain in my hands & wrists, even though I’ve gained very little weight…. trying desperately to get my mind to be ok.

I’m thankful I’m able to be active. I teach. I walk my pup. I got in the pool last week, I’ll do that again this week.

I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep trying to be well. For me and for her.

I will remember that not all days will be good and to do what I can, when I can.