Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Virtuous Workout!!?? WHAT!

So I love the idea of Virtue. It can be defined and used a few different ways but I always think it's "how we act when no one is looking." I was thinking about this today while studying and it dawned on me that this can be applied to our workouts!

I just packed up and made an across the country move from Florida to Washington State so along with everything else in my life, my workout schedule has gone askew. The apartment complex we're in has a decent little gym so I've been in there some, but for me, it is a weird feeling to workout by myself, when no one else is around. I'm used to drawing from some sense of comradery or team atmosphere to help motivate me.

So then back to having a Virtuous Workout. We need to draw from within to motivate ourselves. What reasons are there for working out? Staying healthy, that's a given, Looking fit! okaaay...but really why should we exercise? If for no other reason, how about to treat our bodies that God has given us as He would like. We are hard working people, from sun-up to sun-down, we are on the go. So why not apply that hard work to physical activity? Working hard should not just benefit our families or our pockets, but it should benefit our health.


Workout for the day involves full body exercises! I do these when I get to the gym and am not motivated to work a particular muscle group. I end up loving these more than anything because they get your whole body involved and you really feel accomplished afterward.

Note: For Beginners, You DO NOT have to use weight. Just do the action and get your form down first. Then possibly add light dumbbells, water bottles, a broomstick or rake....

Virtuous Workout:

1. Lunge With Twist: Lunge walk while arms are straight our in front of you. Do this 10 Times, alternating sides, each time twisting your Trunk and your Arms towards the Right side. Rest. Repeat 10 times to the Left.

2. Power Clean (no JERK :) 
This is tricky to please watch youtube video to get form down.
Thanks to Ben! 
I vary it a little. I used 10 pound dumbbells(one in each hand), rest them on my thighs to start. You still to the same motion. 
Shrug your shoulders, while bringing you arms up and flip your wrists to rest the weights on your shoulders. As your flipping your wrists, squat down, then rest the weight on your shoulders and return to standing.
Try 10 reps.
**Here is one more link with pictures: The picture #4-#8 is what I'm looking for. The jump is optional.
Try to learn this one, it is great for your whole body.

3.  Squat with Superman Press (alternative to overhead press which you NEVER want to do)Not the best pic, as you come up out of the squat push the weight straight up in front of your forehead.

As always try to end with a few Planks. Refer to my previous blog posts. They'll keep your core right!

Try this short workout to get your body moving!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Modern Day Corset? Love Handles Explained...

Hello Readers!  

So one of the main questions I get asked by patients and athletes is "How do I get rid of this belly? or How can I get a 6-pack??" I always laugh on the inside a little knowing the right formula to help and it does NOT involve doing endless crunches.

First, let me tell you that the way your "abs" look has a lot to do with your genetics and the way you are everyone say THANK YOU to your mom and dad but that is not an excuse!

Second (and this is big but not revolutionary), You, literally, ARE WHAT YOU EAT. How many times have we been told this growing up? Trust me when I tell you I struggle with this the most, I love great homemade food and sweets...but I have discovered the art of moderation.

So how can we get a more trimmed looking stomach??  There are 2 things you can do...easy right? Burn more calories than we take in by moving our bodies and work our obliques!!!

I'm sure we all know we need to burn more calories throughout the day vs. how many we take in. That's it, but this took me a long time to actually put 2 and 2 together. To flash back to my 1st blog, think about an average day. Most of us wake up, get ready for work, sit at work, come home and fix dinner, sit to eat, then get ready for bed. How many calories are you burning? Not that many...

I'm about to put myself on blast, but another example is to think about how many calories are in a treat. For instance, I LOVE REESE'S CUPS. Like really love them...the commercials get me almost every time! Just seeing orange and brown together makes me want one! So I used to eat them, A LOT. But there are 250 calories in them! So I broke the habit by thinking about my workouts vs their calories. I would literally have to do over 25 minutes on an elliptical to burn that!!! Is it worth it? NO, I say. And I'm telling you this so that you can have clarity like I did, not because I'm OCD about my food intake or workouts. It's just not worth it sometimes. So a solution for me would be either share one :) or don't buy them very often.

So I prefaced all that to say this...your LOVE HANDLES are mere muscles. The obliques to be more specific. These large muscles run from the bottom of our ribcage to our hips and are responsible for forward and twisting movements of our spine.

What most people DON'T know is that they act as a modern day corset for our body. So many people think getting a flat stomach involves countless crunches. I am here to tell you that is not true. Moving your body cardiovascularly and doing core work, including working the obliques is key.

So here are my favorite core exercises, don't complicate them, just do some!

1. Side Plank (and make sure you exhale which recruits more active muscle in the obliques!)

Plank to Each Side... Hold 10-30 seconds...repeat 3 times. Work your way up to 3 times for 30 seconds.
*Beginner-start with your knees bent:

                           (Sorry for the scantily clad pic but this I do most days in the gym, love it!)

2. Ball Twist

Grab a medicine ball (or a 5-10 pound weight, bag of rice, jug of water)
Balancing on your sitting bones, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, twist the ball from side to side holding your abdominals tight.
Go back and forth 30 times exhaling as you go!

**To advance this just pick your feet up off the floor. Just make sure to keep your back flat and that it is pain-free in the low back.

That's it! Repeat as many times as you would like to feel a burn. Enjoy and work these into a workout or after a walk to start using your own body's modern day corset!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How many licks? How many weeks?

We all know the saying...How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?? Well this is my version...


Some of us spend so much time trying to build takes weeks, more like months to see results. We eat good food for a while, we get extra protein for that 'lean muscle' to build but then what happens. We slack off, we relax, we go on vacation, we convince ourselves we're too busy to work out...and we get weak! It happens to the best of us. 

And now for the answer you've been waiting only takes 3, yes I said THREE weeks for our muscles to atrophy (or shrink, go away, give up on us)!!! That could be a super vacation, a hospital stay, three very long work weeks but that's it, that's all it takes. So all the hard work we put in, gone. 

So what is an alternative to this happening? I hear this all the time..."I stay active, that should be enough." Well I'm sorry to say it's not enough if you want your best life. This is your health we're talking about so not saying this to be harsh, just truthful. Yes, an active person stays "in shape" generally more than others of a more sedentary life but over time of not actively building our muscles, it will catch up to us.

Now for some good news! We can maintain our muscle, it's fairly simple. Think big muscle groups. Back, shoulders, legs and core (yes I will include the bum in core). Flashing back to my first blog, Our wonderfully made bodies were meant to move and lift and work! So let's not over-complicate what a "workout" should be. Let's just move our bodies. C'mon...I know you want to try it...even if it's been awhile. You have nothing to lose but more MUSCLE! haha. I just kiddin. No seriously.

Try this:

Walk for 10 minutes.

Each exercise do 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

****Pick either Back and Shoulders to work and do this:

Grab any light weights 2-8# (or water bottles, cans of soup, bag o rice...)
1. Bent Over Row

2. Reverse Fly

*** Or choose Legs and Core and do this:
1. Walking Lunges 10 on each side

2. Squat with Superman Press (alternative to overhead press which you NEVER want to do)Not the best pic, as you come up out of the squat push the weight straight up in front of your forehead.

3. Plank to Each Side (core...the obliques are a beautiful thing to work...I will tell you more in my next post) Hold 10-30 seconds...repeat 2 times.
                           Sorry for the scantily clad pic but this I do most days in the gym, love it!

Stretch after.

That's it! You can do it. Really, I believe in you. This should take about 20 minutes so MAKE TIME.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day one. Get your body moving!

My mission is simple. I want you to see your best possible life: la vida possible. 

First, I am a certified athletic trainer who now has 9 years of experiencing the ups and downs with both patients and athletes. My passion is working with elite athletes and helping them from the time an injury happens back to return to play. I have worked from the high school level up to more recently professional athletes. From a state championship high school team all the way up to the NBA.

Now, the mind of an Athlete is different than the average person. It is multi-faceted, focused and strives to endure anything in order to return to the sport they love. This is who I love to work with, passionate individuals who see a finish line. 

Now as much fun as it is working with a fine tuned athlete I have to say there are more out there who NEED HELP.  I am very accustomed to working with post-injury to post- operative patients as well. One can learn a lot in 9 years of clinical physical therapy. I want to inspire those who need it to push themselves a little more, even if that means just getting motivated to do those exercises your therapist prescribed to you. But most of all, what I see in an office setting is complaints about back and neck pain. Or shoulder or knee pain...

Sound like you? Just a little...??

The human body is amazing! The way it protects itself from injury, the way it heals, in my mind, was all perfectly designed. So what makes for a healthy person or body you might ask...

OUR BODY WAS DESIGNED TO MOVE! It's that simple. We were made to walk and bend, run and lift...but look at the majority of Americans job positions. They sit! Obviously you need to do your job but because a lot of us sit so much throughout the day WE HAVE TO COMBAT THIS. 

We have to work to reverse years of sitting at a computer. Or years of doing the same repetitive motions. There is a perfect balance you can find between sitting and standing...or bending and lifting. 



Walk 10 minutes. 

Do 15 half lunges each leg. (half= don't go down all the way) 

Do 2 sets of 10 standing squats. (bend at the hips first, then the knees)

Stretch basic muscle groups... Hamstrings, Quads and Hips. (pictures to come)

That's it! Just try this for today...

(health in Spanish)