Monday, December 17, 2012

Rock Your Whole Body - Tricep Curls with Squat

 The air is (finally) getting cooler outside and we are revving up for the holidays; but are you still taking care of your body?  Do you want to get in some last minute toning before those infamous holiday pics?  Well, then this week’s exercise is for you!  This week we are targeting our entire body (woohoo!).  This exercise will tone your legs, glutes, core, shoulders, and arms, in one fell swoop.  I, of course, would encourage you to add this in to your regular weekly workout routines; but, if you are looking for that last “hail mary” pass at toning up for those upcoming parties and pictures, then follow the bonus program below.

Tricep Curl with Squat

NOTE: You will want to use weights of some sort for this exercise

Begin with your feet past shoulder width apart and bring your weights behind your head.  Pull your belly in toward your spine and lift your chest up.  Throughout the exercise maintain this position.  In addition, make sure to keep your shoulders down and relaxed so that you don’t just use your trapezoid muscles (think upper back and into the neck region) and end up sore and tight in the wrong places. 

Now, you are going to do a simultaneous squat with your legs and a tricep curl with your arms.  Let’s break each down.  As you squat, press your knees out to activate the inner thighs.  Make sure to only go as low as you can without letting your chest fall forward (this will strain your lower back).  For your tricep curl, keep your elbows pointing forward.  And of course, belly in, chest up.

That’s it!  To work strength training, go low and slow.  To work for endurance, go fast enough to get your breathing heavy.  Do 2-4 sets of 1-3 minute rounds.

“Hail Mary” Get Toned - Do this EVERY day until pic for the next week
ü  3 minutes jogging (in place or while moving) – alternate regular jog with high knees and kicking you bootie
ü  1-2 minutes Jumping Jacks (add in the JJacks Cross – 11/20/12)
ü  25 squats
ü  25 push ups (10/9/12)
ü  25 mountain climbers (6/1/12)
ü  100 punches (get those arms moving fast!)
ü  1 mintue Tricep Curl with Squat (today)
ü  25 Venus Fly Trap (10/15/12)
ü  1 minute Skater Move (9/18/12)
ü  1 mintue Speed Bag (9/11/12)

 *Repeat entire set 1 more time.  Then, cool down with 1 minute jogging in place, followed by 2 minutes of walking. 

 Go get ‘em!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ab Roller

The holidays are in full swing and our schedules are getting filled to the brim.  However, this is all the more reason to take some time out for yourself to relieve stress and do something for you (and your body).  Besides, don’t we all want to look fabulous in our holiday and New Year photos?  Keep up your exercise program and you will not only look toned but you will be radiant as well.

This week we are focusing on our core.  In my cardio kickboxing classes this exercise typically comes at the end of the workout and it is a bit infamous.  My students hate it because it’s so surprising hard and yet they love the strengthening and toning they get from it.  Read on, so that you too can conquer the ‘Ab Roller’!

Ab Roller
Note: You will need a weighted ball for this exercise.
Begin with your hands on the ball and your knees spread slightly apart.  This next step is key to get the most out of this exercise: bring your booty down to make one line between your shoulders and your knee; this will make sure that you use your core muscles throughout the exercise rather than just using your booty weight.  Keep your belly pulled in toward your spine, chest open, shoulders relaxed, and head up.
From this position, slowly roll the ball out in front of you (keeping your booty down).  Reach the ball out in front of you as far as you can while still staying off the ground.  Hold for 2 seconds.  Now, inhale, reach, then exhale, flexing your legs and core to inch the ball back in toward you.  If you are doing this correctly, it should take at least 5-10 “reps” of the flexing/inching the ball in to get the ball back to the starting point.  Remember, try to keep your booty down as much as possible!  It will be hard, but well worth it.  Try to do at least 10 repetitions, 2 -3 times.
Note: For the full benefits of exercise you need both cardiovascular and strength training; this exercise qualifies as strength training so make sure to add in some cardio to get your heart rate up.