Strength

THIS IS 39

“When you look back at your past, look tenderly and gently at all you have been through. Look with the eyes of the soul. See that each experience was necessary to bring you home to your heart” - Melody Beattie

I cannot believe I am 39 years old today!?!?! How the heck did that happen? How am I one year away from 40? Where is time going? Can someone please press a pause button, because time is going by too fast!!! Seriously...Where did this year GO???

As I look back on this past year, I can HONESTLY say that I finally do feel at home, after many years of searching, traveling, and feeling like I was living that gypsy life. I am ready to stay put! I feel 100% in LOVE with my life, my relationships, and my work. The road to this place has not been easy and it is still not easy...it is called LIFE. I have hit a lot of speed bumps, but I have learned a lot. I have opened myself up more than I have ever before. I am living authentically. I am being honest and true to myself and to those who I love.

What is in store for this year?

I am not setting any goals...I am going to go into this year and continue to do what I am doing. I am going to hustle. I am not going to give up on making this brand HAPPEN. I will continue to push my body, listen to my body, and do the things that make my body look the way I want it to look. I will continue to nourish my body, but also make sure I enjoy wine, buttery scones, and lots of delicious burgers and fries. I am going to just be and do ME. Like I have said, again and again, you are going to see the good moments and the not so pretty ones because this is real. Hell yeah, I get scared about putting myself out there, talking about my relationships, my struggles, my accomplishments. But what I have learned through blogging and social media is that I have made some pretty amazing connections, friendships, and I have learned a lot.

This is 39

So before things get too mushy here...Today I am treating myself to all the things I love, doing the things I love, enjoying time with the people I love and celebrating making it through another year of life. Better with age...Just like a fine wine!

I wanted to give a gift to ALL of you as a thank you for your support, love, friendship, comments, and for following me on this journey. And YESit is a workout, because what else would you expect from me?!?!?! I absolutely LOVE this one, because just like the title says, it gets the job DONE. You should most definitely print this workout out and put it on your fridge...put it in your gym bag...leave it on the treadmill and tackle it whenever you feel the need to move your body.

I created this workout when I was stuck inside during a snowstorm. I, of course, was antsy from doing nothing and wanted to move and sweat. BOOM...the “Get It Done Workout” was created. It is quick, efficient, effective, and targets every muscle in your beautiful body. It works on strength, endurance, and gets your heart rate up to burn fat and calories. And the best part is it requires no equipment and can be done ANYWHERE. No excuses my fabulous friends.

15 Minute "GET IT DONE" Work Out

I am grateful for ALL of you and want you to join me as I tackle 39 and everything that this year is going to bring me. Now it is time to enjoy my birthday...To have some FUN...And keep on hustling!!!

xoxo

SPICE UP THAT TREADMILL WORKOUT

I am a total baby when it comes to winter weather! I HATE being cold!!! If I cannot wear shorts and a tank top to do an outdoor run, you will find me on the treadmill or taking a hot yoga class at Charleston Power Yoga. I love to be dripping with sweat. I love feeling the sweat drip off my face, shins, and my clothes being soaked. And yes I am one of those people, who does not mind the humidity when training. Since it is not hot and humid all year round here in Charleston, I take it indoors and this is how I get my sweat on during the winter months.

My goal for winter workouts is to make them quick, efficient, and effective! That is why I am a huge fan of HIIT and Circuit Training. They accomplish everything I need and want to achieve in a short period of time. The other added benefit of HIIT workouts is that it targets fast-twitch fibers, which will help you burn more calories during the workout AND after the workout. This is also known as the “after-burn effect”, which allows your body to continue to burn calories well after your workout is over. Pretty awesome right? And that is why I want YOU to try it out to get your heart rate up...to burn those calories...and get your sweat ON!

With that being said, it is time to suck it up buttercup and jump on the treadmill and just do it! I used to dread the treadmill, but it really is honestly not that bad. You just have to put your “Positive Patty Pants” on and break up the monotony of walking or running on it and have some fun. Keep an open mind...Try new things...And try adding these “specific HIIT workouts you can do on the treadmill”.

Squat Jumps

After you try some of those treadmill workouts and you are still wanting something a little bit more challenging, you start adding in some circuit training. It is so important that we do not neglect strength training. Cardio and Yoga workouts are great, but having strong muscles are key to our daily activities, posture, and for helping us succeed in whatever training goals we are looking to achieve.

*Side Note* - Living a healthy and active lifestyle is a lot of work! It takes time to find out what works best for your body, age, goals, and needs. My advice to you is to stay open-minded. Try new things. Listen to YOUR body. Do not compare yourselves to others...just DO YOU!

And now back to our regularly scheduled post...Try adding these two bodyweight circuits into your next treadmill workout.

15 Minutes on the TREADMILL

  • Perform 3 rounds of the below circuit. Rest 45 seconds between each round.

  • 15x Squat Jumps + 30x Reverse Lunges (alternating)

  • Hop back on the hamster wheel!

15 Minutes on the TREADMILL

  • Perform 3 rounds of the below circuit. Rest 45 seconds between each round.

  • 30x mountain climbers - to right side plank with 15 hip raises - to 15x push-ups

  • 30x mountain climbers- to left side plank with 15 hip raises - to 15x push-ups;

  • REST you are DONE!!!

Here are a few TIPS:

  • When you are on the treadmill add in some variety - hills, sprints, or side shuffle. It is really easy for the body to plateau and your body will easily get used to the same old thing, so spice it up and challenge yourself.

  • If the body weight circuits aren’t challenging enough, grab some dumbbells or add more repetitions.

  • Think outside the box...If you have more time, add in more time on the treadmill

  • Remember to stay hydrated...Listen to your body...And TRY to have fun with it!

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I love hearing from you!

Good Luck!

Grab Your Jump Rope And Let's Workout

Is anyone else feeling a little antsy? Kind of bored with your workouts? Wanting to switch things up? Sign up for a race? As we transition into Spring and the seasons start to change, so do our appetites, as well as our workouts. After being cooped up inside all winter in the gym, I am ready to get outside and hit the pavement, feel the sun, and come up with a new strength training plan.

Spring On Nantucket

I am patiently waiting for those warmer Spring days here on Nantucket! Mother Nature is teasing us 30 miles out at sea. The flowers and trees are starting to bloom and we are so close to getting above 60 degrees. And with my winter membership coming to a close next week, it is time for me to come up with a new plan. After spending a lot of time this past winter working on my strength, I am ready to put on those running shoes and get outside! Longer runs...Outdoor circuits...at-home workouts and YES to jump rope workouts!

I put together this little gem of a workout last week. The best part of this workout is that you can do it anywhere and it is totally versatile if you are crunched for time. If you do not have time to do the 10 minutes of cardio, just do the jump rope and core exercises and you will still get in an efficient and effective workout. Here are my tips for tackling this one: 

  • Pick your choice of cardio: run, bike, row, or use the elliptical;
  • After you perform the 10 minutes of cardio, you will do TWO rounds of the circuit;
  • Rest for 1-Minute and move onto the next circuit!
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section.
Jump Rope Workout

YES it is a lot of jumping rope and a lot of planks, but you all know how much I LOVE my planks and how important they are for your core, balance, posture, and overall awesomeness! So try it out sometime this week and let me know how it goes. 

Jump Rope Workout

What are your plans for this Spring with your workouts?

When is the last time you used a jump rope?

STRONG Legs Are BEAUTIFUL

I love my strong little legs! I work hard to keep them strong so that they allow me to do the things that I LOVE...

Strong Legs Are Beautiful

These legs help me run hard and long distances...

These legs help me hold yoga poses...

These legs help me carry and lift heavy bags, boxes, and of course, Lucy...

These legs are beautiful with their defined muscles, scars, and yes even cellulite!

Strong Legs Are Beautiful

So how do I keep my legs strong? Just like everything else in life, it takes hard work, patience, and yes some experimenting. Lately, I have been doing more strength training workouts. I always dedicate one full workout to just legs. My other 2 strength training days, which focus on upper body and core, I will incorporate more body weight exercises that focus on legs, higher repetitions, less weight. This is what works for me! It is a good balance. I feel good. I feel strong. I like the way my legs look when I train this way!

I LOVE this workout, which is why I want to share it with all of YOU! It is efficient, effective, and gets the job DONE! This workout not only strengthens your legs, but it also builds endurance, improves your balance, and works your CORE. I cannot create a workout that doesn't include CORE work because we all know how important it is to have a strong CORE! So make sure to print this workout out...Look it over...And please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I love hearing from all of you!

Strong Beautiful LEGS

What is your favorite leg exercise?

What is your least favorite leg exercise?

How To Do A Push-UP...Guest Post

Being strong is important for ALL of us, no matter how old we are! Like I have said before, it is great to look and feel strong, but more importantly, it is about doing those daily activities without pain, conquering races and physical challenges, that we train so hard for, and just feeling healthy and happy from the inside out. So today we are going to focus on the push-up, thanks to my good friend Jess. Take it away friend! 

PUSH-UPS: Every women's least favorite exercise. Okay. that may be a stretch, but I can only name a handful of ladies who "love" this movement. 

All too often I see people performs push-ups with incorrect form, and if my superpower could be correcting push-up form with a touch like Midas, I would take it. In the meantime, use this post as your reference for doing a correct push-up. If the default for you is a modified push-up. Have you already begun to work on your full push-up? AWESOME! Here is your chance to fine-tune the movement, in order to get the MOST out of your strength training. 

Benefits Of Doing A Correct Push-Up

Even though we might want to avoid push-ups like the plague, this exercise can have many benefits when incorporated into our routines:

  • Targets chest and triceps muscles;
  • Increases stability in the shoulders and shoulder blade area;
  • Strengthens core; abdominal and low back muscles, as well as muscles around the leg and hips.

If we think about a correct push-up as our foundation for other exercises (burpees, chaturanga in yoga, etc.) we will not only feel more comfortable doing those other movements but can do so with less risk of injury. Ready to step up your push-up game? 

Modified Push-Up

Let's start with the basics. To perform a modified push-up, make sure wrists are underneath shoulders and hips are in line with the spine. If we were to draw a diagonal line from my shoulders to the backs of my knees, it should be relatively straight. 

Abs are tight - Pull the ribs up towards the spine - So that you can start pushing up like a boss!

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While lowering your body towards the floor, make sure the elbows aren't flared out. They may be close to a 45 degree angle from the shoulders. 

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As you press back up, keep the abdominal muscles tight to prevent sinking in the hips. Make sure the elbows are not locked in the finished position. Now, drop down and knock out some more!

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Three INCORRECT Versions

Before we go over correct form for a full push-up, take a look at the following three photos. Can you pick out what's wrong with each?

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Yes, you know it! My hips are too high here. This can be common if we don't have the upper body strength - shoulders, triceps, chest - to lower ourselves down. The hips are happy to help, which means they stay up high to give us the illusion that we can bend the elbows is a significant amount, without the hips weighing down. Not only is this incorrect, but it could leave us susceptible to shoulder pain; notice how the shoulders are not quite in line with the arms and above the wrists. 

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Oh, you are GOOD! In the above photo, we can see that the hips sink to low to the floor. Also a common incorrect way to do a push-up, this can occur when our abs and back muscles skip out on the teamwork. Ideally, the abs and back would stabilize the spine - hips will be level with the shoulders, and there will not be an exaggerated arch in the low back.

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This one's the trickiest to catch if you're doing push-ups, so it could help to have a mirror nearby to check. If you look closely enough, you might be able to see that the elbows are flared out to the sides. Rather than having the elbows come out to about 45 degrees, they're out at a solid 90. For some people, this may not be a big issue, but for others, it could cause some shoulder pain. 

With my personal training, I try to put exercises together that are relatively functional - that is, you'll use the same muscles with the same general form during your everyday life. If we were to push a heavy door open or do any similar "push-up" motion in real life, chances are our elbows will not be flared out to 90 degrees. Our elbows may be tucked in a bit, so it makes sense (to me) to perform push-ups with the elbows slightly tucked. 

How To Do A Correct Push-Up

Alright, now that you've seen a modified push-up and three incorrect versions of a full push-up, are you ready for the big one? 

To Begin: Find a full plank position. Just like the modified plank above, shoulders will be above wrists and hips will fall in line with that imaginary diagonal line from shoulders to knees. 

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Elbows are soft, not locked. Hands can be a tad wider than shoulder-width (yes, you can have them as close as you want, with good form).

As you lower down towards the ground, remember to keep hips level (no sinking or lifting too high) and elbows slightly tucked. Abs remain contracted to keep your spine stable.

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Relatively straight line from shoulders to ankles!

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As you exhale, press yourself back up into a full plank. And...then go again!

Quality Over Quantity

Why do personal trainers and fitness professionals hone in on form 24/7? We may sound like broken records, but there's a method behind the madness that is repetitive cuing. Exercising with correct form could not only prevent us from future injury, but it will allow us to maximize the work we're doing with our muscles. If we can get the MOST out of each movement by being "less efficient"  (not compensating), we'll see better improvements with our strength and physical fitness. 

headshot HTF  

Jess is an ACSM certified personal trainer, AFAA certified group exercise instructor, and Power Vinyasa yoga teacher from Charlottesville, VA. Through her personal training and blogging, she hopes to share her experiences with living a balanced


Do you incorporate push-ups into your workout routine?