Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#WorkoutWednesday

I have been contemplating adding a #WorkoutWednesday feature to Unapologetically You for awhile. I'm finally jumping in and doing it!

I want to be honest and transparent with you-- the readers. And share my motivation behind #WorkoutWednesday. How many times have you seen an image of a beautiful, skinny, flawless woman performing (what looks like) an insanely hard workout.. and got frustrated, discouraged, maybe even sad? I have definitely experienced all of those feelings and many others. 

Most of us don't look like that woman. We look like normal human beings who work hard. We sweat. We struggle. We might grunt or breath loudly. We may have flabby skin that jiggles when we do dynamic moves or skin that hangs funny when do a plank or pushup. Heck-- we might not even be able to do a plank or pushup! But yet we think we should, not only be able to perform the same move she is, but we think we should look sexy as we are doing it.

I want to put an end to those thoughts. I want society to value healthy bodies of all shapes and sizes. I want to show you that you can be strong in some areas, but need major modifications in other-- and to let you know that it's ok. I want you to know that we should strive for progress, not perfection. If we all had perfect bodies like that woman-- life would be boring. And we would probably still find something to dislike about ourselves.

I am a fairly average sized person. I have a pretty strong lower body (thank you running!) but struggle a lot when it comes to most everything ab related. And I'm probably somewhere in the middle when it comes to upper body. I am sharing this information as a reference only :)  

On #WorkoutWednesday I plan to show you, step-by-step, the workout I will be performing. It will include the modifications I use-- but obviously adjust as necessary for your own body. I did not invent these moves. A quick Google search for "strength training" or "body weight exercises" will find you most of the moves I will be showcasing. I am not a doctor or certified trainer. Just a person who loves being fit and healthy, and wants to share what I do with all of my wonderful readers :)

I hope to see this become a weekly feature and would love any feedback you may have. 
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Was the workout too easy?
Too hard?
Were the directions easy to follow?
What did you think of the pictures?
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Today's Workout!

I will be doing each set based on time
45 sec ON / 10 sec REST

If you'd rather do X number of repetitions for each move, that works too! Or if 45 sec is too much at first, try starting with 30 sec.

Each set will be repeated 3 times for a total of just under 35 minutes

squat


can be done with or without weights
(if using weights, choose a slightly heavier one than you would use for upper body)

Start by standing straight with feet approximately hip width apart. If using weights hold them to your sides. Squat down as far as you can go, then stand back up. Do not let your knee jut out past your toes. 

bicep curl to overhead press

Start by standing straight with feet together and arms at your sides holding the weights. Arms should be facing open. Curl arms upwards keeping bicep muscles engaged. Transition weights to shoulder height with your fist now facing forward. Press weights straight up. Come back down in the reverse order. 

plank

There are many variations of plank. The key to planks is to keep your entire core engaged. Today I am doing a forearm plank. You can modify this by leaning on your knees instead of your toes. To make the plank more difficult you could plank with straight arms. As #WorkoutWednesday progresses, I'll show some of my other favorite variations!

kettle bell swing

Start by standing straight with wide feet holding the kettle bell in both hands, with straight arms, down the center. Squat down as you swing the kettle bell between your knees. Use the momentum from the swing to bring the kettle bell to shoulder-ish height. As you swing the kettle bell upwards squeeze your glutes! Follow back through by bringing the kettle bell between your knees again. The kettle bell swing will be a continuous motion and will definitely get your heart rate up!

zipper

Start by standing straight with feel approximately hip width apart. Weights will be straight down in front of your body with your wrists facing inwards. Pull wights up simultaneously until parallel with shoulders. Release back down.

russian twist

can be done with or without weights

From a seated position, bend your knees, lean back and engage your ab muscles. If using a weight, hold it close to your body as you twist to the left, back to the center, then to the right. Keep abs engaged for duration. You can lean back further or lift your legs off the ground for more of a challenge.

burpee

Squat down and jump to extend your legs directly behind you (if your knees are sensitive you can walk your legs back). You are now in a plank position. Perform a pushup-- feel free to modify (I did!). Jump your feet back into squat position and jump straight up. 

tricep dips

Tricep dips could be done using steps, a chair, or even the floor. Position yourself in such a way that you are holding your body up while your legs are bent at a 90-ish deg. Arms should be directly along side your body. Slowly lower yourself using your tricep muscles. Push back up and repeat. If it gets too difficult to push yourself back up, you can just hold your body weight instead.

shoulder taps

From a straight arm plank lift your left hand and tap your right shoulder. Replace your left hand on the ground and bring your right hand up to tap your left shoulder. Keep your body as tight and straight as possible. Resist the urge to twist your body as you tap your shoulder. If this is too difficult, you can perform the move from your knees. For both variations make sure to keep your core engaged throughout.

ice skaters

Start by standing straight with feet together. Jump to the left side as far as you can go and extend your right leg behind you. Use your arms to help propel you. Immediately jump to the right as far as you can go extending your left leg behind you. Go as fast as you can without compromising form.

lateral raise

Start by standing straight with legs together. Arms should be along your sides holding the weights with wrists facing inwards. Raise your arms out from your body to the sides. Stop at approximately shoulder height and lower arms back to your sides. You should really feel this in your shoulders. 

leg holds

This move in incredibly challenging for me and the way I am showing it is very modified. Start in a seated position with legs in front of you. Slightly lean backwards and engage your abs. Raise your legs off the ground and hold. Attempt to get your legs as straight and low as possible. You can use your arms as support/balance. Trust me-- you will still feel it in your abs! 

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So-- what did you think? Did you get a good workout?? I know I did! Please feel free to leave me any comments, suggestions, or feedback on #WorkoutWednesday. Hope to see you again next week!

♥AK