Upper Body

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“Frozen” Flutters Video (Core Focused Pilates Routine) & Bday Giveaway!

Clare : March 18, 2014 3:11 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos

*** Giveaway Closed!***

Hey all! It’s my birthday today and I’ve made it tradition over the past couple years to gift YOU with a present with either a workout, giveaway, or both! (Here is year 1 birthday post and year 2 birthday post)

I had a total other routine in mind, but Friday as I was playing with my 4 1/2 year old daughter, jamming to the “Frozen” soundtrack, (Because, come on, who ISN’T jamming to that thing?!) I started piecing together a pilates routine to the song “Let it Go”. (I know, the perils of being a fitness instructor. Just can’t stop working out!)

Frozens Flutters: A core focused pilates video routine to Frozen's "Let it go" (Quick reference guide included) : peak313.com

I’ve been teaching pilates for almost 10 years and it has been pivotal to both my function and look with my health. This sequence is one that is foundational to my basic pilates routine and I think you’ll enjoy it. Of course, you may add it alongside some other core training, or just do it if you only have 4 minutes. I would shoot for doing this 2-3 times a week. The good thing about this is that your daughter (or son!) can join you if they have interest when the song pops on! Nothing harmful about it at all. (Also, you can do most of this with the exception of when we go to our belly if you are prego! I did these exercises all the way up til I was 8 months with my daughter!) And if you are sick of the song, I totally understand! Just mute, or take the quick reference guide beside you and proceed!

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Now onto the more fun stuff! I’ve also got a giveaway for you! My friends over at Cross Training Couture (founded by my friend, Michelle Myers!) are giving away one of their tanks to one of my readers! (You may remember them from my post last week here.) And I’m also going to giveaway a 30 minute Skype session with me!  I’ve had quite a few people asking me to do this with them (and unfortunately, time doesn’t permit me to do this regularly) so I thought you may enjoy this! I get so many emails from you all and many times, you just need a 30 minute conversation with me to sort through your questions, so I’d like to offer this to help you out!

Clare's Birthday Giveaway: Share, pin, post, or tweet to be entered! (Check out the new pilates video, too!) : peak313.com

To enter:

- Share this post via Facebook, twitter,  instagram, or pin to pinterest!

- Leave a comment that you did so, and also, what you’d like to ask me if you won the Skype session

I will pick one winner randomly on Saturday, March 22.

♥♥♥

Now–off to the workout! The first video is the video in full with NO talking. However, I’d like you to check out the second video where I am explaining a few important things, namely how to MODIFY each exercise.  Keep in mind–CONTROL, tight tummy and remember to breathe! Slow down if you need to at any time! Watch the video one time through before doing so you have a good idea of what’s going on!

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

Now for the modification/explanation video

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

Finally, a quick reference guide for those of you who would prefer to save it to your camera roll or print it off and take with you!

Frozen Flutters (Core Focused Pilates Routine) Quick Reference Guide! : peak313.com

Be sure to enter your comment below for a chance to win! You all are very precious to me!! ENJOY!!

150 Comments »

My Real Life Workout Today: 4/29/13

Clare : April 29, 2013 9:50 pm : Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Upper Body

Every once in a while I like to post my real life workout on here. (Here are some here, here, and here!) Many of you ask exactly what I do for my routine so it’s easier for me to lay it out on a post! (Many times I do put it on instagram so you can follow there) My arms are seriously still shaking from this workout and it’s been 6 hours!

I’ve told you before that I split my strength routine by body parts to get a more intense workout in those areas. This is not something I recommend for beginners, or even intermediate folks. (My splits are usually chest/triceps/shoulders, legs/abs, back/biceps, and then one full body day) Please remember that I’ve been at this a long time and I also do this “for fun” (haha) so I may workout totally different than what is doable for you. I also love going to a gym and to have the variety of equipment to use. Some exercises I do may not be conducive to a home or group exercise setting.

Today, I focused on chest/triceps/shoulders. I use weights between 10 and 25 pounds depending on the sets and exercise. I do the burpees in between to keep my heart rate up and help burn more calories during and after the workout.

Remember–you don’t have to workout like this! Do what you can with your phase of life and interests!

(Most exercises you can google for info, but feel free to ask if it doesn’t come up!)

♥♥♥

UPDATE: After I posted this on facebook last night, I had a few thoughts. I’d like to share them here, too!

5 Comments »

New Move Monday: Weighted Plank Pulls

Clare : April 24, 2013 6:50 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

It’s not Monday, but guess what–I’ve got a new move for you! I’ve been adding this in my routine over the past 2 months and I LOVE IT! You can do it at the gym or at home!

I’ve added this exercise in my routine in 2 ways:

1.) At the end during an ab routine

2.) As part of a fast paced weight circuit

The other day I added this in combination with pull-ups, medicine ball chest passes to the wall, wall walk-ups, and medicine ball push-ups. Let me tell you–I was sore for 2 days!

♥♥♥

A description of how to do it is below!

Grab one weight. (I usually use between 15-25 lbs) Go to the floor in a plank position. Place the weight ahead of you as shown above. Reach one arm up and pull it straight down (as shown below). MODIFICATION: Use a lighter weight and do this on your knees.

Grab the weight with the same hand and drag it up to the starting position. Try to keep your hips square with the floor. Use a little force to get it up there! The higher up and further down you reach, the harder this will be, so REACH! Also, the quicker you drag the weights, the harder it will be, just try not to get sloppy with them. You still want to have control.

Do all reps on this side, then go to the other side. I also like to change which way I start the exercise, so sometimes on the second set, I start it at the bottom instead of the top.

*Note: The surface you do this on will make a difference too. I prefer a thin carpet but have done it on rubberized floor (A little trickier to control) and a thin wood floor may scratch. :)

Do 2-3 sets of 6-8 pulls on EACH side

5 Comments »

30 Minute Total Body Treadmill Workout

Clare : March 17, 2013 9:09 pm : Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

Hey all! It’s my birthday and I wanted to give YOU a present! What says love better than a kick butt workout, right? :)

Many of you have emailed me saying that you have a treadmill, but are tired of just running on it. You want to add some pizazz to your current routine but don’t know where to start. Here is a great option for you!

The workout goes like this! I take you through a hill interval during the cardio section, then giving you an active rest with some full body weight moves! We’ll end the workout with some unique ab exercises! There are 4 total rounds. (Props to my girl, Ann G, for taping me!)

Here are a few things for you to keep in mind!

1.) Once the treadmill starts, never stop it unless you complete the workout! Use the clock on it to guide you through your workout

2.) Take caution dismounting the treadmill! It’s still moving and I don’t want you to injure yourself!

3.) To make it harder: Increase the amount of weights you are using. (Consider having 2 sets beside you) and Decrease the rest period (increase the work period)

4.) Rest whenever you need to! Take a few second breather, and then get back to it until that time segment is up! (If you need to rest during the cardio segment, just step off the side of the treadmill like this so you can keep it running)

5.) Adjust the workout how your time allows! If you can only do 20 minutes, then just do 3 rounds. If you want to do 40 minutes, add another block!

Watch this video first before doing the routine!

(Click here if you can’t see the video!)

 

Print off your 2 page printable (pdf) and keep it with you! Here are the documents separately as jpgs!

Here are detailed instructions of each exercise!

1.) Squat with Overhead Press

Take 1 set of weights and squat down, holding the weights low, beside you. Squat deep into the heels. (Legs are hip width apart) Press up through the heels as you stand, then bring both arms up as you press the weights over your head. Repeat

2.) Burpee/Renegade Row/Bicep Curl

With a weight in each hand, jump down to the ground and shoot the legs behind you.

Row your right up and then your left arm.

Shoot your legs in and stand up. Once standing, do a bicep curl.

Keep the arms close to the body as you row up and down. Imagine you have an envelope in the armpit that you have to keep there!

MODIFICATION: Do the rows on your knees instead of on your toes.

3.) Step-Up with Tricep Press

Grab both weights and go near your treadmill. Step up on the side of it while holding weights to your side.

Once you are at the top, press the arms back, leading with the wrists pushing towards the ceiling. Step down and repeat on the other leg.

From behind.

4.) Plank Walk

Be very careful with these next set of exercises! The speed should be very low, and incline at 0 or .5! Rest when you need!

Start with both hands on the side of the treadmill.

Begin “walking” with your hands. Keep the hips square to the floor. No rocking and rolling! The further up you reach, the harder this will be. Also, be certain not to buckle in the lower back. Keep nice and tight in the abs!

5.) Bear Crawl

Start the same way as the plank walk, but instead of using your straight arms, go to your forearms! Reach higher and higher to make it harder! MODIFICATION: Plank Walk

6.) Push-Up with Alternating Reptile

Place your hands on the side of the treadmill. Do a push-up.

When you come back up, bring the left knee up towards the left arm as you crunch down with your upper body. Upper body and lower body meet in the middle! Return to starting position, and then do it again on the right side. Go back to the push-up and repeat! MODIFICATION: Do the push up on your knees.

Thanks for sharing my birthday with me! If you like my blog, and/or this workout, would you mind sharing it or my site, with your friends? Thank you!!

12 Comments »

New Move Monday: BOSU Toe Stack Push-Up Combo

Clare : January 27, 2013 7:11 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos

It’s time for another “New Move Monday“! (It’s been a while!) Many of you have asked about using the BOSU ball. You see these at a lot of gyms, and many people have them in their homes. I love incorporating the BOSU ball to really challenge the core! I was playing around with it one day and came up with this combination.

Insert this exercise at the beginning, middle, or end of your routine! Do it after a cardio routine, or in a strength routine. Let me know if you try it!

(Video demo below!)

♥♥♥

1.) Grab the BOSU ball , place your feet on it and walk out into a push up position. Do a basic push-up

2.) To make it harder, stack your feet one on top of the other and continue the push-up

3.) And if that’s not hard enough…drive your knee to your chest as you come up on the push-up.

Make sure to switch legs!

REPS: Do 2-3 sets of 4-8 push-ups on each leg!

(If you can’t see video, click here!)

2 Comments »

New Move Monday: “Hip Drop” It Like It’s Hot

Clare : August 19, 2012 6:48 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body

I end all of my Pilates classes with a plank series where we do lots of different variations of them. This combination is one of my favorites and is really hard (especially if you do the hip drop!). Add this into your daily workout!

REPS: 2-3 sets of 10-12

(You can combine this exercise however you’d like, doing one set of elbow to knees, then the next with hip drops, or mix them up each set!) Also,  if you want a quick circuit, do 15 mountain climbers, 15 second plank hold, then this move! Repeat 2-3 times!

♥♥♥

Knee to Elbow: (to start)

Go into a plank position. (I use a straight arm, but feel free to stay on your forearms) Take one knee and touch the opposite elbow. Return to starting position, then repeat on the OTHER side. Alternate sides until reps are completed. Keep that tummy tight and remember to breathe!

Hip Drop: (make it harder!)

Take one leg and instead of going towards the elbow, drop (think “collapse”) the hip to make it parallel with the ground. Your arms should bend down a bit as you do this. Come back to starting position and switch to the other side. Alternate sides until reps are completed. (Don’t let the legs touch the ground!)


4 Comments »

Real Life Workout

Clare : July 20, 2012 1:07 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, Upper Body, Weights

Another real life workout. (Here are two prior ones!) I feel that one way for you to learn how to put together my new moves, is to see how I actually put together a workout!

Here is what this week’s workout schedule looked like for me:

Monday: 15 minutes hill runs/ 35 min Full body Strength Training

Tuesday: 40 min Partner Track Workout

Wednesday: 25 minute elliptical workout (varying speeds)/ 35 min Full body Strength Workout

Thursday: Off

Friday:  15 min stair climber (Man, I forget how hard that is!)/ 45 min Full Body Strength (below)

Saturday: 7 miles

Sunday: Off

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 Warmup/Cardio:

15 minute stair climber

Strength:  (I do an upper body, lower body, and ab move or plyo for each circuit) I move through each circuit 2 or 3 times, doing 10-12 reps of each. I use weights anywhere from 12-20 pounds.

Circuit 1:

♦ Bent Over Rows

♦ Front Squats with bar and 5 pounds added to each side

♦ Alternating Oblique Knee to Chest (Leg Raise Machine)

Circuit 2:

♦ Incline Push-Up on Bench with Side Twist

♦ Weighted Step-Ups on Plyo Box

♦ Box Jumps (plyo)

Circuit 3:

♦ Upright Row with kettlebell

♦ Hamstring Curl and Press with cable machine

♦ Burpees (plyo)

Circuit 4:

Push-Ups with the band

♦ Plie Squat with bicep Curl

“The Hover”

 

How was your workout week?

 

 

 

4 Comments »

Partner Track Workout

Clare : July 17, 2012 9:39 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

My friend and running partner, Leslie and I did this workout this morning! You can do this with a friend or even your hubby (or older child!!)

REPS: Do each strength exercise for 30 seconds (or start in smaller increments and increase as you get stronger!)

Do this routine 1 or 2 times through depending on how much time you have!

Remember, do a sprint/jog lap in between each strength exercise!

Partner Track Workout : peak313.com

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Incline Pull-Ups:

Grab bar with an overhand grip. Raise body to the bar and then return.

SpidermanPush-Up:

Assume push-up position. When you are down, bring one knee to the elbow. Press up and return leg to original position. Switch to other side.

One-Leg Tricep Dips:

Face each other on the ground. Each of you lift your leg and join them in the middle. Dip down as you keep the leg lifted. Be sure to switch legs.

Jump Squat and Reach:

This takes a little coordination. Have fun with it! Face each other and squat down. Jump back up and reach diagonally, clapping hands at the top. Squat back down and then switch clapping sides!

Partner Abs:

One person lays on the ground while the other stands. The person on the ground grabs the ankles of the standing one. The standing person throws their legs in different angles as the laying friend brings them back to starting position. Alternate between a side left throw, center throw and side right throw! We also do something called a pendulum swing which is throwing the legs to the left and swinging them down and around in a circle. Then throwing them to the right and swinging all the way around!

Linking up with Women Living Well

3 Comments »

New Move Monday: Chest-Tricep-Ab Combo on the Ball

Clare : July 2, 2012 8:47 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

I ran into one of my pilates students the other day while working out at the college I teach at. We did some cardio together and the I convinced her to do some strength training with me. She agreed (without me twisting her arm too much!) and while we were exercising she suggested that I should make this a New Move Monday! Grabbed the iPhone and here you go! (Small demo video following!) By the way, my triceps were sore for 2 days after this!

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Grab a set of weights and large exercise ball. Place your upper back on the floor and lift your rear end up. Hold the weights in a narrow position as seen in picture above.

Press weights straight up from your chest.

Extend them straight behind you. Keep the heel of the hands towards the ceiling. Draw the abs in toward the spine as you put them behind you. Bring them back and repeat from the top with the narrow chest press.

Towards the end of the set (or even the after you bring the arms back from picture above) keep hands above your head as you sit up on the ball. Come back down on the ball as you keep hands raised. Repeat. Lead with the abs first, then think of the arms.

Do 2 or 3 sets of this combo. 10-12 Reps each set!

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

1 Comment »

My Real Life Workout Today: 6/18/12

Clare : June 18, 2012 1:39 pm : Featured, Upper Body, Weights

No “New Move Monday” today. Instead I decided to give you another glimpse into my workout routine. I’m not sure if you wonder exactly what I do to exercise or not, but I know that I’m always curious what other people do for theirs! My workouts are different EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Because I love playing around with different exercises and equipment, I have a HUGE list of exercises to use! I usually keep a similar routine for about 2 weeks, then change it up.

So here you go. A down and dirty snapshot of today!

(Special props to my friend Bekah, who came in towards the end of my workout and snapped some pics of me!)

♥♥♥

I love to work in circuits. It just helps me when I can group exercises together. Today was an upper body focused day.I also end each circuit with a plyometric move. This really elevates my heart rate and keeps me in an anaerobic state. (Fat burning) I am breathless and burning the whole time through!!

Warm-Up: 10 minutes on recumbent bike at a moderate speed

Main Workout:

3 sets done of each exercise in each circuit. I choose weights that make it very heavy to lift towards the last 1-2 reps. (10-15 lb weights.) Reps range anywhere from 8-15 depending on what I’m doing.

Circuit 1:

♦ Burpee/Push-Up/Renegade Row Combo (Currently, my fav exercise. See pictures)

♦ One legged bent-over reverse lat row (Similar to exercise linked here)

♦ PLYO: Prison Jump Squats

Circuit 2

♦ Around the world (medicine ball) with plie squat

♦ Reverse grip tricep pull-down on cable machine

♦ PLYO: Flat-Belly Burpee (aka. Crossfit burpee)

Circuit 3:

♦ Laying Bicep Curls (laying on aerobics ball)

Narrow Chest Press to a Chest Fly (laying on aerobics ball)

♦ PLYO: Hops (holding aerobics ball in air)

Abs:

♦ Alternating Oblique Knee to Chest (Leg Raise Machine)

Ab Scissors

Stretch

♥♥♥

So what did you do today for exercise? Spill it!

12 Comments »

A 31:17 Arm Workout {FREE Printable}

Clare : June 12, 2012 7:29 am : Featured, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

If you are part of a Good Morning Girls group, then you are probably going through the book of Proverbs, chapter 31. This week we come upon verse 17 which says,

“She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.”

Strong arms? She needs them and so do we! I created a “31:17″ Arm Workout for you, complete with a free printable and demonstration video! Visit me over at Good Morning Girls to find out more!

9 Comments »

New Move Monday: Tricep Kickback on Ball

Clare : June 4, 2012 11:49 am : Exercise Ball, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

I’m going back into some old pics I took a few years ago. I was 15 weeks pregnant with my 3 year old daughter if that tells you how far back!

This exercise can also be done on a stable surface such as a bench. Adding the exercise ball works your balance and stability though!

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Grab 1 weight and an exercise ball OR stable surface such as a bench, coffee table etc. Place one hand on the ball and bend that same side leg and kneel on the ball. Grab the weight with the other hand and keep that side leg firmly on the ground. Lift up the arm and think of “pinning’ your elbow high.

Bring your weight up (as seen in picture)and PRESSING the heel of the hand towards the ceiling. Bring the arm down, moving from the elbow ONLY (as opposed to the shoulder). Repeat.

Do NOT let the arm drop. Try to do this in front of a mirror a few times to get the hang of it. Do all reps on one side, then switch to the other!

Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 kickbacks!

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New Move Monday: 1 Year Birthday Workout!

Clare : May 27, 2012 9:22 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

It’s been 1 year since I started “New Move Monday“! I’m not sure if you all enjoy reading (and doing!) all the new exercises, but I do enjoy sharing them and inspiring your workouts!

In honor of the 1st year birthday, I decided to put together a full body workout with a few ” New Moves”. Enjoy and if you like it, please share!!

♥♥♥

Please see the specific instruction for each of the exercises below.

1.) Decline Push-Up

2.) The Surrender

3.) Stomp the Ceiling

4.) Side Plank with Lift

5.) Skater Taps

Click Picture to Print!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Donkey Kicks & Sprints on a Tree (or wall)

Clare : May 13, 2012 8:50 pm : Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body, Videos

If you don’t think I’m crazy already, this might put the nail in the coffin! :) This is a great exercise to add at the end of a run (or even in the middle!) or to any part of an exercise routine. This will work your whole body and the longer you do it, the harder it will be. Work your way up to it!

I have a short video at the end explaining it!

♥♥♥

Start with both hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Feet at the bottom of a tree or wall.

Kick both legs up on the tree (wall). Kick as high and as fast as you can. Breathe and keep the torso and upper body solid..

To make it harder, run (sprint) at the top of the tree. Go as fast as you can!

REPS: 2-3 sets of 25 kicks or runs. You can also do it for time and try to work your way up. Start with 10 seconds and move your way up in 5 second intervals! You’ll know when you’ve worked those muscles!

VIDEO:

Click here if you can’t see the video.

7 Comments »

New Move Monday: Deadlift w/ Reverse Grip Lat Row

Clare : May 6, 2012 10:42 pm : Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

I hope the name of this exercise doesn’t scare you off! I LOVE deadlifts, especially straight-leg ones! They really tone up the rear end, hamstrings and lower back. I do them with both legs on the floor and even with one leg to really increase the intensity. I put this combination together so I could work the upper body as well.

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Take 2 weights with a regular (overhand) grip and bend over from the waist. Your knees are “soft” and I want you to stick your rear end out. Do NOT change the bend in your knees. Once you get your back parallel with the floor (or close to it) then draw yourself back up. Tighten the core as you come up and think of initiating from the hamstrings.

Once you are back up, turn the hands to where the wrists are now facing out. Draw both arms back as you squeeze. Imagine that you are keeping an envelope in the armpits as you draw back. Do 2 rows and then go back to the deadlift. *BE sure to CHANGE the grip of the weights for the deadlift (wrists now face the body)

To make this harder, lift one leg for the deadlift and keep it lifted for the reverse grip lat row!

Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 deadlifts (which would give you 20-24 lat rows). Make sure your weight is heavy enough to feel the intensity!

5 Comments »

New Move Monday: “The Surrender” {video}

Clare : April 30, 2012 2:07 pm : Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

I love this exercise for my whole body–upper, lower, core and heart!! I have been working my way up on the weights to where I’m holding 12-15 pounds each hand. I literally die on this and am sore the next day (or two!)

Here is a video demonstration of “The Surrender”! (I’m fighting a cold and am having problems breathing hence the breathlessness!)

♥♥♥

Do 2-3 sets of 8- 10 stands EACH LEG. Use weights heavy enough to make it hard to stand towards the last 2 reps!

(Click here if you can’t see video)

11 Comments »

My real life workout today: 4/23/12

Clare : April 23, 2012 5:53 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, Medicine Ball, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

I didn’t get a chance to do New Move Monday. You name it, it happened. But that’s ok, because I figure that you might have an interest in seeing exactly what I did for my real life workout! I exercise at a college gym and I honestly think the dudes in there think I’m insane. I don’t talk to any of them because I get in my own zone, but I know they have to wonder why this blonde tries to rule the roost in there. HA!

(I’m not going to explain these moves, so if you are curious what some of them are, ask in comments and I can explain further)

The honest truth is EVERY SINGLE workout of mine is different. Every one. I don’t walk in with a plan but I do walk in with different parts I want to focus on, or a new exercise I want to try. I also enjoy doing exercises at the gym in pair combinations. So I’ll do one exercise and then quickly move to another, then go back to the first and repeat. Remember, I’ve decided to take it up a notch this month, so I’ve been hitting it hard and heavy.

If I used weights, I noted it. Also 2×12 would be read 2 sets of 12 reps.

Today’s Workout: April 23, 2012

Warm-Up

2 miles on treadmill. 6.5mph .5% incline

Workout

♦ 2×14: kettlebell swings (18 lbs)

♦ 3×10: incline chin-ups

♦ 3×20 sec: skater hops & tap (PLYO BURST)

♦ 3×12 chest press pulley machine (10lbs each side??)

♦ 3×10 single leg hip thrust (my new fave move)

♦ 2×12 tricep kickbacks

♦ 3×8 Combo: traveling push-ups, plank jacks, mountain climbers (cardio burst)

♦ 3×12 wall balls (12 lbs)

♦ 3×12 wall jumps (Plyo Burst)

♦ 2×10 single leg dead lifts (20lbs)

♦ 2×12 bicep curls (12 lb each arm)

Abs

3×12 Combo: leg raise/oblique crunch on leg raise machine

2×12 punch up punch out (on my muffin-top makeover)

Basically, I was am toast. I realize that this looks like a lot, but it took me about 65 min from top to bottom. I don’t take a ton of time to rest in between exercises as I like to keep my heart pumping.

So. What did you do today for your workout?!

*Note: My strength day workouts aren’t always this intense or involved. I was “feeling it” today and went for it. Plus I was due for a good one! :)

16 Comments »

New Move Monday: Core Challenging Tricep Extensions

Clare : April 9, 2012 8:38 am : Exercise Ball, Featured, New Move Monday, Pregnancy, Upper Body

I didn’t have a lot of time today to take new pictures so we are pulling back into some old pictures I took a while ago! I took this as part of a group of exercises while I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child.

Many people aren’t sure what they can do while they are pregnant, but the reality is you can do a LOT especially if you were active up til you got pregnant. There are modifications you can do to most exercises and using the big aerobics ball is one way to achieve that.

(Consult with your doctor before doing any exercising while pregnant.)

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You can do this exercise pregnant or not! You will be surprised at how much your core needs to engage to keep you on there!

Grab a big aerobics ball and a pair of weights and go near a wall. Carefully sit on the ball, bend your legs and plant your feet on the wall. (Your legs should be very wide to keep you stable)

Get your weights and extend arms overhead with both weights. Drop the weights down (moving from the elbows) and then bring them back up. Focus on PRESSING up through the tricep muscle towards the ceiling. Keep the elbows in as much as possible (as opposed to winging them out to the sides) . Keep the chest lifted and legs wide to give you more stability.

Do 12 reps 2-3 sets.

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Birthday Bash Giveaway & New Full Body Video!

Clare : March 18, 2012 6:15 pm : Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

**Giveaway CLOSED**

It’s my birthday and I want to celebrate with you! You can win 1 of 2 prize packages!

Package 1:

- “Reshaping It All” by Candace Cameron Bure

- “The Good Wife’s Guide” by Darlene Schacht (paperback!)

- A pair of fabulous jeans from “Vault Denim

Package 2:

- “Every Body Matters” by Gary Thomas

- Jillian Michaels’s “30 Day Shred” DVD

- 2 hair accessories from Lilla Rose

- A sample pack of all 3 flavors of Shakeology from Michelle Myers!!

To Enter:

- Leave a comment below letting me know which body part you want to shape up for the summer!

- BONUS ENTRY: Tweet, facebook, or pin the giveaway the video & leave an additional comment below letting me know you did that!

(Giveaway will close Friday, March 23rd at 9pm EST)

Don’t forget to sign up to receive my blog posts for free in your inbox! (Look to the right of the page!)

♥♥♥

Clare’s Fave Full Body Workout #1 (Video at bottom!)

Here is the first video I’ve created that you can do with me! These are some of my favorite exercises and I do a workout like this multiple times in the week! You can loop this video once, twice or even three times through depending on how much time you have to exercise! (For each additional loop you do, increase the amount of weights you lose to really blast the fat!)

I didn’t explain the exercises in detail during the video to spare time, but I want to do that. So here is an outline of the exercise and some key points. (I recommend you watch the video first before doing it!)

♦ Curtsy Lunge with Shoulder Raise

Lunge back as if you were curtsying. Lift the arms into a shoulder raise. To modify, lift one arm then the other. Keep the chest lifted and core tight!

♦ 4 corner hops

Imagine a square on the ground. Jump with both feed to each corner. Land gently and use your arms to propel you up. To modify, make the square smaller.

♦ One leg lat rows/lat flyes

Stand with one leg planted firmly to the ground. Bring both arms up beside you into a row. Squeeze as you lift the arms up. Switch legs and do a lat fly. Take both arms out to the side. Gaze stays to the ground the entire time and sink into the standing leg.

♦ Skater Taps (or ski hops)

Tap side to side landing gently. Make the taps bigger to make it harder. ADVANCED: Tap and then touch the ground.

♦ Bicep Curl with Leg Extension

Do a basic bicep curl. Keep the elbows close to the body as you curl. Lift one leg and extend it as you curl. Keep the leg nice and high. Switch sides and do a hammer curl (thumbs are towards to the ceiling). Lift one leg and extend as you curl!

♦ 4 corner hops

♦Tricep Pushup with hover

Go to your knees on the ground. Place your arms in and back for a push-up. Drop down as your elbows shoot straight back. Keep the chest lifted as you move from your hips. Move directly into a hover as you straighten the arms and bend the knees. Hover them over the ground.

♦ Skater Taps

Work it sisters!!! :)

(Click here if you can’t view video!)

Linking up with Women Living Well

303 Comments »

New Move Monday:”Criss-Cross Applesauce” Workout

Clare : February 19, 2012 6:12 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

Yes. You read that right. Each of these moves will mimic a criss-cross. You can also say”criss cross applesauce” on some of them. Sorry. I have small children in the house. These are the things my mind thinks of right now. :)

Make sure you view the video of each move first. Then, print off the pdf for you to take with you!

I recommend doing these when you are short on time or you need to add some variety to your current strength routine.

(For the record, my 2 year old daughter does the criss cross squat every time I tell her “criss-cross applesauce”. Oh the perils of being an aerobics instructor’s daughter! LOL!)

Criss-Cross Applesauce Workout

1.) Alternating Punches: Stand with legs hip width apart. Grab a set of dumbells and punch them in front of you. Be sure to alternate which hand is on top. When the arms come out beside you, be sure to squeeze.

2.) Behind the Back Cross: Take the arms and cross them behind you. When you release the cross, be sure to squeeze as the arms are out beside. Alternate which hand is on top each cross.

3.) Criss Cross Squat: Start with both legs further than hip width apart. Jump and bring one leg crossed in front of the other. Jump out to the starting position, then jump back in with the OTHER foot in front. Each time your legs come out, be sure to squat down deep. You can make this a more cardiorific (my new word) move by adding the upper body with the squats!

4.) Ab Scissors: Lay on the floor with forearms supporting you. Take the legs out in front of you and make tiny crosses, alternating which foot is on top, then extend the feet wide. It’s a “Switch, Switch, Switch, Extend”. Keep the chest lifted and breathe as you do these.

5.) Heel Crosses: Lay on the floor with your forehead to the ground. Extend both legs behind you and turn the heels towards each other in a “V” position. Quickly switch them as you alternate which foot is on top.

6.) Cross Cross Glute Stretch: Sit. Cross the legs. Take one foot and place it on top of the bottom knee. Hold the stretch. Switch legs. To make the stretch deeper, lean forward with your forearms on the ground.

Click on image below to print!

♥♥♥

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

(Linking up with Women Living Well)

8 Comments »

New Move Monday: Cardio Burst Video #1 (Jacks/Climbs/Steps)

Clare : February 12, 2012 3:31 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos

Cardio bursts in a workout are very important to challenging the heart and really making the muscles work harder. I add these into my personal workout a lot and this is a combo that I made up that I use all the time. Seriously.

You don’t have to do it to music, nor this song, but I find that exercising to music with a strong beat really helps keep you working hard.

Keep the arms wider than shoulder-width apart and the gaze to the floor. BREATHE!

The basic moves on this cardio burst are:

♦ Plank Jacks

Try and keep the upper body as still as possible while jacking out the legs.

♦ Mountain Climbers

Right knee and left knee move up and back to the chest. Again, try and mobilize the torso.

♦ Step up/Step Back

Drive the right leg up to the right hand as far as you can, then step back and repeat on the other leg. To make it a little harder, drop the opposite hip to the floor as the other leg moves to the hand.

♦ Elbow Plank

Go to elbows and hold a strong plank!

I like to move down the pyramid on counting with these. Doing 16 counts for each exercise, then cutting it down to 8 counts. You can rest anytime you need and repeat as much as you like. The point is to get your heart rate HIGH, as if you are reaching the top of the mountain!

(Click here if you can’t see video)

Linking up with Women Living Well

15 Comments »

New Move Monday: Upper Body V-Series with Band

Clare : December 19, 2011 4:48 pm : Featured, New Move Monday, Resistance Band, Upper Body, Videos

I’m not exactly sure what happens to me when I get in front of a camera, but I’m all of a sudden….nice?! I do NOT teach like this in front of my class—at least from what my students say! :)

This exercise will work the upper body: chest, upper back, shoulders and triceps!! It’s easy to do anywhere and you won’t break a sweat!

♥♥♥

(If you can’t see video, click here)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

4 Comments »

New Move Monday: Push-Up with a Band

Clare : November 28, 2011 1:18 pm : Featured, New Move Monday, Resistance Band, Upper Body

I’m just gonna tell you right now. This is hard. It kills me everytime I do it! However it is one THE BEST tricep workouts out there! Work your way up on the reps and don’t be ashamed if you can’t get a lot done at once!

♥♥♥

(Instruction under the picture)

Get on all 4′s on the ground with your exercise band. Lay flat on the floor and drape the band over the upper part of the back. Grab both ends of the band and hold tightly. Raise up to the position in the picture above. Do a push-up while holding tightly to the band. (I recommend staying on your knees) Hold the band higher up to make it harder and lower to make it easier.

Do 2 sets of 8-12 push-ups!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Tricep dips with a medicine ball

Clare : November 14, 2011 1:45 pm : Featured, Medicine Ball, New Move Monday, Upper Body

There aren’t many people who enjoy doing tricep dips. They are difficult, but they are very effective. Here is a twist on the basic tricep dip. Remember, you can take a basic exercise move and add something to it to take it to a whole new level!

♥♥♥

(Instruction below picture)

Find a location that gives you some area to lower and lift your body where you can sit. Start with the medicine ball on the ground below your feet. Straighten your arms. (Baby swing in the background, optional. :))


Lower down a few inches. Keep your body close to the step that you are sitting on as you lower. Think of the shoulders drawing AWAY from the ears, the chest open and lifted. Press into the heel of the hands as you bring yourself back up. Repeat.

If you are crazy want to kick it up a notch, try doing this with ONE leg. The concerned look on my face was not made up for this picture. :)

REPS: 2-3 sets of 8-12 dips

or

Do for time! See how many you can do in 30 or 60 sec and try to improve each time!

4 Comments »

New Move Monday: 2 Point Tabletop (pregnancy)

Clare : October 24, 2011 1:51 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Pregnancy, Upper Body, Weights

You can do this exercise, pregnant or not!! This will work your shoulders, core and rear end/legs!!

♥♥♥

New Move Monday: 2 Point Tabletop (pregnancy) : peak313.com

Get on all four’s. (Do this on a mat or towel if this bothers your knees) Take one light weight (2-5 pounds) in one hand. Lift your arm with weight straight out beside you while extending the opposite leg behind you. (As seen above) Bring the arm back down to beginning position while simultaneously bringing your leg towards your chest. Repeat.

Be careful to keep your lower back supported as much as you can. Draw the abs (from what you can feel!) in tight. Breathe and keep the gaze straight down to the floor.  Be sure to switch sides after doing all reps on one side!

Do 2 sets (each side) of 8-12 extensions!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Slide Out Slide In

Clare : October 17, 2011 2:34 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body

This is TOUGH! Your abs and upper body will feel it sisters. I’m telling you, these gliding discs are such a great investment! (You can do this move alongside “Sliding W’s“!)

Remember, if you don’t own these discs, then you can use paper plates!

♥♥♥

(Instruction below picture)

Get on your knees and put your hands on top of each gliding disc with arms directly below shoulders (Not Shown) Extend (slide) one arm in front of you. Keep the other arm close to your body as if you have an envelope in that armpit. The non-moving arm’s elbow will go directly behind you as opposed to winging out to the side.

Exhale as you slide the extended arm back to starting position. Really press the hand firmly into the ground as you move back up. Do the other arm. Repeat, alternating arms.

*Do not let the lower back arch up or dip down. Keep a neutral alignment in the hips even if that means you can only extend the arm out a little bit. Don’t hold your breathe…you’ll want to. Breathe in and out instead!

Do 2 sets of 6-8 slide outs (Each arm!)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Side Plank with a Lift!

Clare : October 10, 2011 2:32 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

I love planks!! (Just ask my pilates class!) I’m sure many of you have done a side plank before, but here is a twist on it. You can do this outdoors while your children are playing, in your living room near your stairs, or even at the gym on a step! It’s a little more challenging, so if you aren’t able to accomplish this, then just take it to the floor and even do this on your forearm (otherwise known as a “side elbow plank”). And YES…I’m wearing my running skirt!

♥♥♥

(Instruction below the picture)

Find a step and adjust your legs one on top of the other. The arm on the floor is below your shoulder. Place the other hand on your hip. Try to keep your hips lifted and core tight. Hold this position for 8 seconds. Relax and repeat!

To make it a little harder, do the same as above but lift the top hand towards the sky. Think of the chest open and lifted!

Want more challenge? Tip your torso towards the floor. Think of hiking your hips up toward the sky. Come back up to starting position and repeat.

AND…if those weren’t tough enough, then try this! Lift up the top leg and hold!

Do 3-5 holds of 8-12 seconds! (or as long as you can hold!) Be sure to switch sides!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

3 Comments »

5 no equipment, anywhere exercises at The Better Mom!

Clare : September 29, 2011 8:00 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, Upper Body

Today I’m posting at The Better Mom!

Find me there to get 5 no equipment, anywhere exercises for busy moms!

Here’s a sneak peak!


1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Sliding “W’s”

Clare : September 26, 2011 3:33 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Upper Body

I introduced these gliding disks to you in August when I created the Deskie Workout. These are my current favorite addition to my everyday workout. They challenge my body in ways that I didn’t think was possible!! Here is a CHALLENGING exercise for the abs and upper body. REMEMBER: If you don’t own the gliding disks, then you can use 2 paper plates!

And if it looks like I’m struggling working hard in the pictures below, it’s because I am.

♥♥♥

(Instruction below the picture)

Start with your feet in the middle of each disc. Hands at a comfortable position and gaze straight down.

Bend your knees and bring both feet towards your right side of your body. (Try and bring the knees to the elbow) Take legs back to starting position and then slide them to the other side. It’s kind of like you are making a smooth “W”. Repeat

2 Sets of 8 slides (each side)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

8 Comments »

New Move Monday: Plank Shoulder Taps

Clare : August 29, 2011 2:03 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Pregnancy, Upper Body

You can do this exercise pregnant or not, but as you see below, I demonstrated it while pregnant with my second! This is a full body exercise, however you will feel the intensity in the abs and lower back.

♥♥♥

Get on all 4′s on the ground. Lift your knees up (or keep them to the floor to modify). Tap the left shoulder with the right hand then put the right hand on the ground. Then take your left hand and tap your right shoulder. Repeat. Try to minimize movement in the whole body while tapping. Yes, you will move side to side a bit, but try to control and keep centered, with your hips facing the ground. Keep tension away from your head and neck and breathe!

Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 taps!

CHALLENGE: Do a set of push-ups in between each set of shoulder taps!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

2 Comments »

The “Deskie” Workout {seated}

Clare : August 22, 2011 1:35 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body

Last week, I presented to you the “Deskie” workout–exercises to do while standing at a computer. This week, I’m going to present to you exercises to do while seated!

Don’t forget about the special discount Peak313 readers get at Fitness Wholesale! Use code FW15KF at checkout!

♥♥♥

Equipment Needed:

- Small pilates ball (or a small non-weighted kid’s ball)

- 2 Gliding Discs (or 2 paper plates)

♥♥♥

1.) Knee Squeeze: Take ball and place between the knees. Squeeze and pulse the knees together. Do a set of 16 reps. Pause and hold the squeeze for a 10 second count. Repeat. Do that 2 or 3 times.

2.) Leg Lift & Lower: Place the ball at the knees. (Hold onto the desk if needed) Lift both legs up and hold for a second, then drop legs. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 10-12}

3.) Tricep Swim: Put ball against your chest and desk. Lean forward. Stick both arms out behind you and quickly move them as if you were swimming behind you. Inner part of wrists are up to ceiling. {Reps: 2 sets of 12 swims}

4.) Elbow Circles: Put one disc on desktop. Put your elbow on it and do small circles. Reverse after doing all the reps for that arm. For added challenge, place both discs on the desktop and circle at the same time! {Reps: 2 sets of 8 circles both ways}

5.) Chair Hovers: Fold your arms on top of each other. Lift up a few inches (hover) from your chair for 2 seconds and then sit back down. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 10 hovers}

6.) Leg Lift & Extend: Place the ball at the knees. (Hold onto the desk if needed) Lift both legs up and extend them out. Bring them back in and down. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 10-12}

7.) Ball Pass: Place ball in one hand. Extend arms out to the side. Lift up arms and pass the ball to the other hand. Extend both arms. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 12-14}

8.) Chest Squeeze: Take the ball and extend it in front of you with both hands. Lift your arms up above your head and BE SURE TO SQUEEZE ARMS TOGETHER as you lift. Drop and repeat. {2 sets of 10}

BONUS: Sit on a large exercise ball. You will use more muscles to maintain your balance and you can use it to get a good stretch in the lower back and legs!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

4 Comments »

The “Deskie” Workout {standing}

Clare : August 14, 2011 8:26 pm : Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body

Do you spend a lot of time in front of a computer seated? (for all intents and purposes, a “DESKIE”)  Statistics tell us that adults and children spend over 70% of their day on their bottoms!! I wrote about what media does for our bodies but I’m determined to help you break those downfalls!  I’ve put together a routine for you to do while you are in front of your computer.

Remember, this should not replace your normal exercise routine, so do your best to get that in!

(This week’s exercises will be what you can do while standing and next week will be what you can do while seated so be sure to come back!)

♥♥♥

You don’t have to purchase anything, however I really like the gliding discs and this small ball that I’m using in the pictures below. And just for my Peak313 readers, you get a special discount!!! Use code FW15KF while checking out at https://www.fwonline.com.

Equipment Needed:

- Small pilates ball (or a small non-weighted kid’s ball)

- 2 Gliding Discs (or 2 paper plates)

♥♥♥

You will need to stand up against something that is counter height, so move your laptop to the kitchen island if you have one.  (pictures below instruction)

1.) Stand up. You’ve already burned almost 50 more calories than sitting!!

2.) Counter-top Push-Up: Stand with your feet about 5 feet away from the wall. Put your hands on the counter and push your body back. Clap your hands and return them back to the counter. (It’s a push-up) Make sure you control the push off and return. {Reps: 2 sets of 12 push-ups } *To make it harder, lift one leg behind you and continue. (not shown) Be sure to switch legs halfway thru!

3.) Half Circle Slides: Stand with legs hip distance apart. Drop one disc to the floor and place the ball of your foot on it. Slide it in a smooth, controlled motion from the 12 o’clock position to the 6 o’clock position. DO NOT BEND LEG. Then reverse it. Be sure to extend it out as far as you can while keeping your body still. You should feel a nice contraction of the glutes and hips when it’s at 6 o’clock. {Reps: 2 Sets of 10 half circles EACH LEG}

5.) Single Leg Sliding Squat: Stand with legs hip distance apart. Drop one disc to the floor and place the ball of your foot on it. Sink down into the standing leg (put your weight onto your standing heel) Now take the leg with the disc and slide it up, then back to the starting position (shown below). Slide straight out beside you (shown below), then back to start, then slide back behind you then to start. DO NOT RAISE UP ON THE STANDING LEG WHILE DOING THIS. Repeat. {Reps: Do 2 sets of 8-10 per leg}

6.) Single Leg Sliding Lunge: Stand with legs hip distance apart. Drop one disc to the floor and place the ball of your foot on it.Sink down on your other leg and then slide the leg with the disc behind you (shown below) and then bring it back to starting position. DO NOT STAND UP WHILE DOING THIS. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 8-10 per leg}

6.) Shimmy Side Bends: Stand tall in front of the computer. Bend from the side and try and reach the ankle. Come back up to starting position. Repeat. KEEP THE CHEST LIFTED and imagine opening up the non-reaching side nice and big. {Reps: 2 sets of 12 each side}

7.) Standing Fire Hydrant with Ball: Take the ball and nestle it into the area behind your knee cap. Lift that bent leg behind you and then back to the starting position. Then extend the bent leg out to the side and back to starting position. Repeat. Really SQUEEZE that ball thru the whole thing if you can! {Reps: 2 sets of 10 reps on each side.}

♥♥♥

Don’t forget about the special discount you get from Fitness Wholesale (FW15KF) . Come back next week to find out a whole other set of exercises to do while seated! I’d LOVE to know your thoughts on this routine!!  You can contact me below in the comments, find me on FACEBOOK, or TWITTER or be sure to sign up to receive my posts in your inbox!!! (See area on the right side of page!!)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

6 Comments »

New Move Monday: Wall Lunge w/Ball (pregnancy)

Clare : August 1, 2011 1:18 pm : Exercise Ball, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Pregnancy, Upper Body, Weights

I didn’t have a lot of time today to take new pictures so we are pulling back into some old pictures I took a while ago! I took this as part of a group of exercises while I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child.

Many people aren’t sure what they can do while they are pregnant, but the reality is you can do a LOT especially if you were active up til you got pregnant. There are modifications you can do to most exercises and using the big aerobics ball is one way to achieve that.

( Consult with your doctor before doing any exercising while pregnant. )

♥♥♥

Grab your large aerobics ball. If you want, grab a set of weights too. Take the ball and place it against the wall. Lower the ball to where it is at your hip. Rest the arm closest to the wall on the ball grab a weight (if you have one) with the other. Take the leg closest to the wall and extend it behind you in a lunge position. Lunge down and up. The ball rolls gently against the hip with you. (You may need to adjust it in the first few reps until you get a hang of it) Keep your chest lifted, naval to spine (it’s still there!) and curl the arm with the weight up and down along with the lunge.

Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg.

New Move Monday: Wall Lunge w/Ball (pregnancy) : peak313.com

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

2 Comments »

New Move Monday: 3 Point Punch

Clare : July 25, 2011 3:45 pm : Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

This is a great full body workout. It’s a twist on the typical plank and lat row.

♥♥♥

(Instruction below the picture)

Grab a 3 or 5 pound weight. Get on the floor on all fours. Grab your weight and pop up to your toes. Legs are in a wide stance.  Arms are wider than shoulder-width apart. Head is relaxed.  Take the arm with the weight and punch it under the other standing arm. (as seen above) Modification: Stay on the knees instead of the toes.

After you punch, bring the arm up to a lat row. Imagine you have an envelope in the armpit…you want to keep it there. The other picture demonstrates the incorrect way of bringing up the arm. Squeeze the arm and back as you bring it to this position. Repeat the move, doing all reps on one arm, then switch arms

Do 2-3 sets of 8 punches on each arm.

This is just another view of the move on the other arm.

Advanced

After you punch under the arm, instead of stopping at the chest, open wide towards the ceiling and twist!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Tricep Ext w/Resistance Band

Clare : June 20, 2011 3:56 pm : Featured, New Move Monday, Resistance Band, Upper Body, Videos

It’s New Move Monday and I have an exercise to tighten up the triceps!!! Grab your resistance band—this is a good one!!

Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

(If you can’t view video, click here)

Leave a response »

New Move Monday: Decline Push-Up

Clare : May 30, 2011 2:26 pm : Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

It’s New Move Monday! I’m not sure if this will be a weekly thing, but it’s something new I want to try.

Chances are, you’ll be outside this summer. :) If you are in the backyard with your kids, there are plenty of exercises you can do while they play. This is an example of one! You can also do this if you are at a park, or do it towards the end of a walk or run. Of course, you can transfer this to the gym too. It is a pretty intense move, so do as many as you can.

♥♥♥

Find a step or somewhere that is elevated. The height (from the ground) that you use is up to you. The closer to the ground you are, the easier this move is. As you can see in these pictures, I have a step below the one I am on. That one is also a great option!

Place your feet on the step and extend the body out towards the ground. Place your hands a little bit further than shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs at a comfortable position, although, I don’t recommend going too wide with them. If anything, keep them close together.

Bend your arms and control your body to the ground and press back up. Keep the chin away from the chest and your gaze STRAIGHT down to the ground. REPS: 2-3 sets of 6-10. These are tough, so do what you can!

Here it is at a straight-on shot.

MODIFICATION: Choose a step with a lower height OR just hold the PLANK position (arms straight at the top of the move) with NO movement.

ADVANCED: In the plank position, bring your left knee to your chest, return it to the step, then bring your right knee to the chest and return it to the step. Repeat. You can do a combination of 4 push-ups to 4 knee to chests and repeat!

11 Comments »

Medicine Ball (Full Body)

Clare : May 4, 2011 11:26 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, Medicine Ball, Upper Body

If you’ve seen a medicine ball before, you may have looked at it, then quickly walked away thinking that it must be a piece of equipment for athletes only! Do not fear! These weighted balls are a GREAT addition to your home gym and your workout routine. They come in many varieties–handles, no handles, small, large and a variety of pounds. They don’t take up a lot of space and will last you a long time. Not only are they great for abdominal exercises, but upper and lower body as well.

The exercises performed below are done with an 8 pound ball. If you do not have a medicine ball, you should be able to grab one weight and complete the exercises. (although some of the moves may not be as comfortable)

(Fun Fact: I was 14 weeks pregnant with my daughter in these pictures and my photographer was Courtney from WomenLivingWell!)

Alternating Side Lunge w/Chest Press: Grab the medicine ball and stand with feet a little further than hip width apart. Lunge to the right as you press the ball in front of you with both hands. Bring the ball back to your chest as you come center with your body. Lunge to the left and press the ball out again. Bring back to the chest, with body coming center. Keep the chest lifted and high! REPS: 2 sets of 8-10 reps (1 rep is going to the right and then the left)

Hinged-Over Lift: Take the medicine ball in both hands. Hinge over from the waist and keep your knees soft. It’s almost like you are in a small squat. (Do NOT break the torso). Take the ball and lift it up to where your biceps meet your ears. (see picture above) Then bring back to starting position. Keep the gaze to the floor the whole time and be sure to stay squatted and hinged. (Sounds major, eh?) ADVANCED: As you lift your arms up and down, press the ball with your hands. REPS: 2 sets of 12 reps

Platypus Walk: Grab the medicine ball and lift it with both arms above the head. Take your legs and turn both toes out, away from the body, as opposed to having them face forward. Squat down slightly. Walk up on a 4 count (“right foot, then left foot, right foot, then left”) Then, walk back on a 4 count. Keep the hands lifted and the rear end in a slight squat. It will feel a little odd, but have fun with it! REPS: 2 sets of 12 reps

Tricep Extension: Grab the medicine ball with both hands and lift it behind  your head. Lift the ball above your head, then return it to starting position, as pictured above. (Be sure to keep your elbows “in” as opposed to flaring out to the sides.) When you lift the ball up, think PRESSING your wrists up thru the ceiling. (this will help engage the tricep muscle) Be sure to keep the abs and lower back supported by drawing in the abs towards the spine.  REPS: 2 sets of 12 reps.

Shoulder Bridge: Take the medicine ball and go to the floor. Lay on your back and put the ball underneath your feet. Drop and lift your rear end while you keep your feet on the ball 8 times, then hold the rear end in the air for an 8 count. Relax and repeat that cycle 2-3 times. ADVANCED: Lift the right leg up, then take it back down to the ball, then lift the leg leg up and bring it down. Repeat. Do 8 times, 2-3 sets.

Oblique Twist: Grab your medicine ball and sit down. Plant your feet firmly in the floor about hip width apart. Hold the ball at your chest and begin twisting right and left with control. Keep the chest lifted (don’t sink) and shoulders away from the ears. The elbows should be close to your body as if you are knocking someone out at your hips. Exhale as you twist right and left.  ADVANCED: Lean back slightly as you twist. Try lifting your feet off the floor a few inches while maintaining balance! REPS: 12-15 reps 2 sets

Lower Ab Drop: Grab your medicine ball and lay down. Put the ball between your knees and extend your legs into “chair pose” (see picture) Keep your head to the floor and put your hands to the side on the floor. Inhale, then exhale and with control, drop your legs to where your toes almost touch the floor and return them to starting position. Do NOT collapse the legs. Keep them extended. Repeat.  ADVANCED: Lift your head and put both hands behind your head as you do the move. REPS: 10-12 reps 2 sets

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Weights-Upper Body

Clare : January 11, 2011 3:27 pm : Instruction, Upper Body

*When choosing a weight for dumbbells, choose something which will be challenging as you are at the end of your repetitions. For many women, 3 or 5 pound weights are a great start. Some may be able to advance to 8 or 10 pounds.

Rear Press & Lift -(works rear shoulders and triceps)  Stand with a dumbbell* in each hand. Turn your wrists so they face behind you. Push your arms back simultaneously then bring them back to starting position. Now bend your elbows as you lift them up simultaneously then lower them. That is 1 repetition. Be sure to keep your upper body still and your hips pressed forward. Repeat this combination for a total of 10 times. Do this for 2 sets.

Pulsing Biceps-(works biceps) Stand with a dumbbell* in each hand. Anchor your elbows to your hips while your wrists are turned facing the ceiling. Pull arms up to a 90 degree angle. Pulse your arms up and down simultaneously 3 times, then bring them down for a count of 1. Repeat. Do this for 10 repetitions and 2 sets.  CHALLENGE: On the second set, turn your hands so that your thumbs are facing each other and continue on as previously noted.

Balanced Lat Row-(works back, shoulders and legs) Stand with a dumbbell* in each hand, thumbs facing to the top. Hinge forward slightly while keeping your naval to your spine providing support for your lower back. Do not lock your knees. Bend at the elbows and lift both arms up simultaneously. Keep your elbows high and pretend you are trying to keep an envelope in both armpits. Lower down and repeat. Do 10 times for 2 sets. CHALLENGE: Stand on one leg while lifting up keeping the other leg either slightly to the floor or raised in the air. Be sure to switch legs!!

Figure 8 Shoulders- (works shoulder, chest and core) Stand with a dumbbell* in both hands. Start by lifting your right hand straight in front of you and dip it down to your left hip. Raise it directly up from your left hip, then bring it down to your right hip (starting place). (Pretend you are doing a “Figure 8″ with your arm) Do not lock elbows and keep your hips stationary. Repeat 10 times on right side then do the left side. Do 2 sets.

Traveling Push-Up- (works chest, back, triceps and core) Get on all 4′s. Keep your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart and keep your neck long and gaze ahead. Now place your left hand directly in front of you while moving your right hand to the right and down some. (Maintain a wider than shoulder width distance) Do a push-up down then up. Now take your right hand and place it directly in front of you while moving your left hand to the left and down. (Maintaining correct distance between the two hands) Repeat the push-up. Alternate the “traveling” push-up right and left. Do 2 sets of  8 reps (each side)

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