Thursday December 12, 2013
With lots of white stuff on the ground, a lot of us have resort to indoor workouts these days, which is fine...at least for a little while. Cabin fever probably hasn't set in yet, but we still need to keep our workouts interesting...at least enough to keep us going through the worst of the winter. To that end, I've put together the top indoor workouts my readers and my clients are enjoying ('enjoying' being a relative term, of course) just to give you some ideas for how you can spice up your indoor training:
- Hips, Butt and Thigh Workout - This is always in the top ten with my readers and it's also one of my favorites as well. It includes all the best exercises for the lower body, but I've also thrown in a few unique exercises, just to keep it interesting.
- 30 Minute Total Body Strength Circuit - This is a complicated workout and it's certainly not for the beginner, but it's great for those days when you want to blow it out the old bloomer leg with a short, sweet workout.
- Total Body Beginner Strength - This classic workout is always a favorite for my readers and for my clients. It manages to hit all the major muscles of the body, but in a nice way. You're left knowing you worked out, but without a lot of painful soreness the next day.
- 10-Minute Low Impact Cardio Blast - This is also a big favorite with my readers, I suspect because it's short and it doesn't require any equipment. If you like video, I have a low impact cardio workout available and I'm working on a new low impact workout that should be up sometime soon, so hold your breath for that one. Well, not while you're working out, of course.
- Basic Upper Body Workout - Another favorite with my readers, this basic upper body is exactly what it sounds like: All the exercises you need to work the major muscles of your upper body. No muss, no fuss. I love this one when I don't feel like dealing with a little of equipment...just pick up some weights and get 'er done.
These are just the top five workouts so, of course, I want to know what you're doing. How are you keeping things interesting at the gym? Or perhaps you're brave enough to go outside and exercise. Either way, leave a comment and tell us about your favorite winter workout.
Wednesday December 11, 2013
As I write this blog post, it is approximately 21 degrees outside with a windchill of 4. And? It's snowing. Which means that, if the wind doesn't blow it all away, I will be shoveling said snow in the near future.
Since shoveling snow is about the only outdoor activity I engage in during the winter, I like to think of it as a workout. A frigid, soul-sucking, hypothermia-inducing, snot-producing workout, but a workout nonetheless.
Apparently, there are other winter activities one can do that will also burn calories and that people tell me are 'fun.' Anyone who knows me knows that 'fun' does not typically involve temperatures that dip below 85 degrees, at least not for me. But if you're not a wimp like I am, check out some of the ways you can burn some calories this winter. Note: The calorie counts are for 30 minutes of activity by a 150-lb person:
- Shoveling Snow: 205 calories
- Swearing at Mr. Snowplow who just unloaded an impossibly heavy mound of snow at the foot of your driveway: Unknown
- Giving up and having a hot toddy by the fire: -150 calories
- Building a Snowman: 140 calories
- Cross-Country Skiing: 306
- Downhill Skiing: 204 calories
- Snowshoeing: 272 calories
- Taking a stroll around the neighborhood to look for a snow blower to borrow: 112 calories
- Cleaning house for the holiday party: 100 calories
Clearly I'm a cold weather wimp, but I'd love for my readers to tell me what they love to do outside during the winter. How do you enjoy the cold weather while I sit around and complain about it? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
More about how to make winter exercise easier.
Tuesday December 10, 2013
One day, a client came in while another trainer was finishing up with her own client. They were doing mountain climbers and my client said, "Oh, wow. Those look really hard. I'm so glad I don't have to do those!"
"Really? And why don't you have to do those?"
"Well, because I can't," she said, as though it should be obvious. "I mean, I can't even do a plank, much less run my knees in and out like he's doing. It's a shame, isn't it?" She gave an exaggerated sigh at that and I could see how pleased she was that she didn't have to do mountain climbers.
Oh, how wrong she was.
Now, maybe she couldn't do that version of mountain climbers but there are always alternatives...something this client should've learned by now. My solution, in her case, was to elevate her upper body using a weight bench (or a step, as shown in the picture). This took some of the weight off her arms and put it back onto her legs, which are stronger. We also slowed the movement down so that she was bringing one knee in, then back and then the other knee in and back. No running necessary.
She was so happy I did this for her that she called a press conference to announce to one and all that I'm the Best Trainer in the World!
Okay, what she really did was mutter, "Great...that's the last time I say that again," under her breath.
If you're a little more eager than she is, add this modified mountain climber to your workout. You'll get both cardio and core strength while working on upper body strength as well.
Do it right:
Stand in front of a high step, bench, rail or other sturdy raised platform and place the hands about shoulder-width apart, legs straight behind you in a pushup position. Bring the left knee in towards the platform and quickly switch legs, bringing the right knee in. You can run the knees in as fast as you can (harder) or you can step the feet in and out, working your way up to moving faster and faster each time. Try it for 30-60 seconds.
Monday December 9, 2013
Well, it's that time again, people. The time when we get so busy and rushed that it becomes a necessity to stop and regroup before we start forgetting important things. I know this, because I'm seeing it everywhere: Clients showing up without their shoes, shoppers without their credit cards, pet owners without their dogs (...one client forgot to pick up her dog at the vet's office until they called her several hours later).
In all the rush, it's easy to let things fall through the cracks, but not today. Today, let's all take a deep breath and do a little regrouping. Think back on your life for the past couple of weeks and ask yourself this: How am I doing in the workout department? Am I taking care of myself and at least attempting to get a little exercise in? Or have I let holiday stress completely bury me?
Vote in this week's poll and tell us how things are going. How are you?