Be Well: Full Workout #3

Happy Workout Wednesday! This week I've got my third full workout to share with you guys, this time with a slightly different format. I hope you try it, like it, and find it challenging! So here we go:

Start with five minutes of stretching. This workout involves sprinting, and I recently strained my left hamstring after sprinting with no warm up, so the importance of stretching has been on my mind! One really great stretch is to get in a lunge position, interlock your fingers and stretch your arms up over your head, and then lean side to side and push your hips back and forth, side to side, in order to stretch all of your upper leg and hip muscles. Repeat on the other side.

Next, hop on an exercise bike and bike at low to medium intensity for five minutes. If you don't have an exercise bike at your disposal, you can run or do the stairmaster (but no elliptical!). Spend the first two minutes riding easy to get your muscles warmed up, and then finish out the remaining minutes at a medium clip to get your blood pumping.

Rest for one minute.

DSC_4300_2Next, spent one minutes doing squats.

DSC_0718Spend the next minute doing plank walks.

DSC_1996Spend the third minute doing tricep dips.

Now repeat the circuit two more times - first, bike for five minutes, then rest for a minute, then do one minute each of squats, plank walks, and tricep dips.

During your second five minutes of biking, start at medium intensity and work your way up to hard intensity during the block. During your last block of biking, try to sprint the entire time. You can do that while either sitting down or standing up on the bike - it's your preference.

After this, your lungs, legs, arms, and abs should all be burning. You might be exhausted, but your body will thank you later!

------------------------------------------------------------

Although commitment and stability are things I crave deeply in my human relationships, those needs do not transfer over AT ALL to my feelings about my workout routine. While I want to come home to the same person every night (you would too if you met my husband), I can't stand being tied down to a certain workout regimen - I never like frequenting exercise classes in my gym for fear of becoming a "regular" and feeling obligated to go, and I even struggle with whether or not I even want to maintain my gym membership. I tend to shop for new workouts with greater intensity than I shop for new clothes - I love learning about new kinds of exercise, and then creating a kind of a weekly workout salad of those new discoveries, incorporating everything from pilates to CrossFit, from barre to half marathon training, into one week of workouts. Especially here in San Francisco where there are so many niche workout facilities, the siren song of CrossFit, yoga studios, barre workouts, and free-standing cycling classes sometimes makes me want to cheat on Old Faithful, my very run-of-the-mill gym, in favor of something...new. I'm not really sure where I'm going with all of this, but my thoughts strayed to new, unexplored, exciting workouts today and now all I can think about is putting those dreams into action. After all, variety is the secret ingredient to staying out of a workout rut and keeping in great shape...but variety can be expensive! If only I had unlimited money to try out any and every workout studio out there...dare to dream, right?

Be Well: Modified Good Mornings

DSC_0751_2

Today I have another easy yet effective exercise to share with you guys. Good mornings are a wonderful warm-up exercise that can strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. While this is often done with a barbell across the shoulders, I'm demonstrating a modified version here using free weights.

Start with feet shoulder-width apart, legs straight but soft through the knee, weights clutched into your chest, and upper arms by your sides.

DSC_0763_2

Hinge forward at the waist, keeping your back flat and sending your glutes towards the back wall. Keep legs straight without locking out your knees.

DSC_0756_2

Stop when your body gets to a 90-degree angle with your legs. Your back should still be flat.

DSC_0770

DSC_0765_2

Rise back up, making sure you keep the weight clutched close to your chest.

DSC_0767_2End in the same position you started. Repeat 10-12 times for a good warm up. Complete 2-3 sets if you are using these as one of your major leg exercises in that day's workout.

How is everyone's week going so far? Mine's off to a pretty solid start - work's gone pretty smoothly thus far, I've stuck to my resolution to not eat out during February thus far, and I've got a fun, new little segment brewing to share on the blog tomorrow. Plus, I'm off to the gym to try a self-imposed Crossfit workout this morning - wish me luck! And have a great Wednesday.